Petrol, diesel price rise: India's fuel demand falls sharply

The increasing prices of petrol and diesel are impacting demand conditions in the country
Representative image
Representative imageImage source: Pixabay

New Delhi: The increasing prices of petrol and diesel is impacting demand conditions in the country that is looking for an accelerated recovery of the economy post COVID- lockdowns. India’s fuel consumption is gone down sharply in February, according to official data. This is the second consecutive month when demand is falling amidst rising fuel prices.

The consumption slowdown in February is lowest since September last year when it had begun becoming clear that worst is over and demand is picking up.

Consumption of fuel (largely petrol and diesel) fell 4.9 per cent in YOY February to 17.2 million tonnes, as per oil ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), The demand also gone down to 4.6 per cent on monthly basis stating that various delays still remain on the path of full recovery for the economy.

In a stronger indication that recovery is still some way off can be evaluated by seeing the diesel consumption data as the fuel is prime source of transport for all kinds of goods in India and accounts for about 40 per cent of overall refined fuel sales in the country. The consumption of diesel fell 3.8 per cent to 6.55 million tonnes in February. On the other side, petrol gone down by 6.5 per cent to 2.44 million tonnes in February and by about 3 per cent from a year earlier.

Both the fuels are on the rise in the country with pump price of petrol and diesel rising by 26 times in 2021 by Rs 7.46 and Rs 7.60 per litre respectively so far this year. Petrol prices have also crossed the Rs 100 a litre mark in many cities.

Contrary to auto fuel prices, sales of cooking gas or LPG cylinders grew 7.6 per cent YoY in February to 2.27 million tonnes. This is largely on account of government t subsidies and provision of free connection to Ujjawala customers.

(With inputs from IANS)

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