India’s Fuel Sales Rise In April As Agri Demand Picks Up
India’s fuel sales rose in April as demand for diesel picked up on the back of rabi crop harvesting and an expansion in economic activity, preliminary industry data showed on Monday.
Demand for diesel, which accounts for two-fifths of the country’s demand, rose 6.7 percent to 7.15 million tonnes in April from a year earlier.
Sales were up 4.8 percent month-on-month, compared with diesel consumption of 6.83 million tonnes in March, which saw a seasonal slowdown.
Compared to the same period last year, petrol sales rose by around 2.5 per cent to 2.64 million tonnes in April. However, the data showed sales fell 0.5 percent month-on-month.
Petrol and diesel sales have been increasing since the second half of March on the back of industrial and agricultural activity. In the first half of March, petrol sales fell by 1.4 per cent and diesel sales by 10.2 per cent.
Petrol consumption in April was 23.5 percent higher than April 2021 Covid-19 and more than double the same period in 2020. Diesel consumption increased by 21 percent over April 2021.
With the continued opening of the aviation sector, India’s overall passenger traffic at airports is close to pre-Covid levels.
Reflecting this trend, jet fuel (ATF) demand rose 15.4 per cent to 595,600 tonnes in April compared to the same period last year. This is 53.3 percent higher than April 2021, but 4 percent lower than pre-Covid April 2019. Monthly sales were down 3.1 percent compared to 614,700 tonnes in March 2023.
Rabi crops, mostly wheat, barley, mustard, sesame and peas, are sown between October and December and harvested from April to June. Demand for diesel increases as wheat harvesters and tractors run on that fuel.
India is experiencing steady growth supported by the service sector and the industrialization of the economy. Industry officials said the country’s oil demand was supported by strong industrial activity.
In terms of manufacturing, diesel is the main driver of oil demand due to increased demand in the agricultural sector, power generation and industry. Fueling irrigation pumps and trucking support diesel, they said.
Cooking gas LPG sales declined 2.7 percent year-on-year to 2.19 million tonnes. LPG consumption was 4 per cent higher than in April 2021 and 16 per cent higher in April 2019 than in April 2019. The data showed demand fell by 8.1 percent month-on-month compared to LPG consumption of 2.38 million tonnes in March. .