June fuel sales top 2019 levels by a wide margin – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Fuel consumption sped past the pre-pandemic levels in June by a wide margin, driven by a surge in domestic tourism, sharp uptick in economic activities and a higher-than-usual seasonal demand from the farm sector owing to a long spell of searing heatwave.
Diesel consumption, a bellwether for economic activities, in June was 10.5% higher than the same month of 2019 and 35% more than a year ago, according to provisional sales data of state-run retailers, which serve 90% of the market.
Petrol sales topped the June 2019 level by 16.5%, while it was almost 29% more than the comparative period of last year.
Diesel demand has been driven by a resurgence in inter-city travel and freight movement due to rising industrial activities. Petrol sales have been buoyed by people’s preference for personal vehicles to escape the searing heat and partly by holidaymakers opting to drive to cooler climes.
The spike in demand has forced IndianOil, the country’s largest state-run refiner and fuel retailer, to operate its refineries at more than 100% and import petrol and diesel to fill the void left by the closure or curtailment of sales by private players.
Jet fuel sales continued to recover but remained 12% short of the June 2019 level, indicating some negative pull as rising costs jack up fares. But sales were 119% higher compared to last year, buoyed mostly by holidaymakers taking to the skies with a vengeance.
Sales of LPG, mostly used as household cooking gas supplied in cylinders, showed a gain of almost 28% over June 2019 but was almost static at last year’s level.


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