New Delhi, March 16
India’s fuel demand, except ATF, has returned to pre-Covid levels and a reflating economy will help consumption grow in near future, head of the nation’s top oil firm said on Tuesday.
Fuel sales had fallen by a record 45.8% in April last year when a nationwide lockdown was imposed to check the spread of coronavirus infections. Demand started to recover with the easing of lockdown restrictions, with petrol returning to normal growth first and now diesel too is back at pre-Covid levels.
“Expect for ATF, we have touched normal demand,” Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said. “We are back on track.” While petrol sales had reached pre-Covid levels a few months ago, diesel was up 7.4% year-on-year in the first half of March.
LPG sales showed growth even during the lockdown.
With airlines not operating all flights, ATF sales remain below normal.
“ATF may take a quarter’s time to return to normal, maybe 3-4 months,” he said.
IOC, he said, is bullish about fuel demand recovery as the economy grows.
“Let’s hope for the best with the vaccine rollout,” he said.
Diesel sales in the first half of March rose to 2.84 million tonnes while petrol demand was up 5.3% to 1.05 million tonnes.
This is the first annual rise in petrol sales since October. ATF sales, which fell by more than 80% in the aftermath of the lockdown, was down 36.5% in the first half of March.
India’s economy returned to positive growth territory in the fourth quarter of 2020 as its real GDP expanded by 0.4% year-on-year after two quarters of contraction. This was after provincial and localised lockdowns were lifted amid a fall in the daily number of new Covid cases.
Crude oil suppliers group OPEC’s monthly oil report last week forecast a 13.6% jump in India’s oil demand in 2021 to 4.99 million barrels per day. — PTI
Back on track, says IndianOil
- The sales had fallen by a record 45.8% in April last year when a nationwide lockdown was imposed to check the spread of coronavirus infections
- Demand started to recover with the easing of lockdown restrictions, with petrol returning to normal growth first and now diesel too is back at pre-Covid levels
IOC to monetise non-core assets
- Indian Oil Corporation plans to sell hydrogen generating plants at its oil refineries to monetise non-core assets and leverage operational efficiencies by bringing in domain experts, its chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said on Tuesday