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Fuel demand falls again after hope in July

IANS | September 12, 2020 04:03 PM

NEW DELHI:India's fuel demand is showing signs of stress with a sharp fall in August, the biggest monthly decline since April when the Covid-related lockdown brought economic activity to a standstill.

Coronavirus surge continues in the country and at local levels lockdowns continue affecting a real pick up in economic activity.

The sales of petroleum products (refined products such as petrol, diesel, ATF etc) have registered a 16 per cent decline to 14.39 million tonnes in August this year as compared to the same month last year.

The fall is also over previous month of July at 7.5 per cent, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas showed. This is the sharpest fall in demand since April.

What is worrisome is the sale of diesel has also fallen in August. Diesel is considered a barometer of economic activity in the country and accounts for about 40 per cent of overall sales of petroleum products.

Diesel consumption, fell by about 12 per cent to 4.85 million tonnes in August from 5.51 million tonnes in July.

The decline has also been witnessed in the case of petrol which fell by 7.4 per cent from a year earlier to 2.38 million tonnes. However, petrol sales have risen 5.3 per cent from 2.26 million tonnes in July, as the Unlock phase and continued restrictions on public transport have pushed up use of personal vehicles.

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