India's fuel demand rose a meagre 3.8% in May as frequent price hikes dented petrol, diesel consumption

New Delhi: India's fuel demand rose by 3.8 percent in May as frequent price increases dented auto fuel consumption.

Fuel consumption in May totalled 18.71 million tonnes as compared to 18.1 million tonnes in the same month last year, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed.

The rise was lower than 4.4 percent increase witnessed in April, 2018.

During May, petrol sales was up by a meagre 2 percent at 2.45 million tonnes while diesel consumption was flat at 7.54 million tonnes.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

The primary reason for this small growth was the increase in retail selling price after state-owned oil firms lifted pre-Karnataka poll hiatus to resume daily price revisions from 14 May.

In the following fortnight, petrol price was raised by Rs 3.8 a litre and diesel by Rs 3.38 a litre. Prices started to fall towards the month-end and are off-record highs now.

Petrol price hit an all-time high of Rs 78.43 a litre and diesel peaked to Rs 69.31 on 29 May in Delhi. On Monday, petrol costs Rs 76.58 a litre and diesel Rs 67.95.

In April, petrol sales had risen 9.2 percent while diesel, which makes up for roughly 40 percent of all the petroleum product consumed in the country, posted a 2.6 percent growth in consumption.

During May, jet fuel or ATF sale was up 11.16 percent at 697,000 tonnes.

With the government pushing for use of cleaner liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as cooking fuel by giving free connections to poor women, cooking gas (LPG) consumption was up 14.4 percent at 2.04 million tonnes.

The result of LPG push was a near 20 percent drop in kerosene usage at 283,000 tonnes in May when compared to the year-ago period.

Naphtha sales were up 3.6 percent at 1.04 million tonnes, while consumption of petroleum coke surged 8.7 percent at 2.4 million tonnes.

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Updated Date: Jun 11, 2018 19:45:21 IST

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