India's fuel consumption in December rose for a fourth straight month as economic activity and transport demand continued to recover from a coronavirus-led hiatus. Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, rose 4.1 per cent to 18.6 million tonnes in December, the highest since January 2020, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas showed on Friday. However, on an annual basis, demand slipped by 1.8 per cent, indicating that consumption in Asia's third-largest economy hasn't yet reached pre-pandemic levels.
India's fuel consumption scales 11-month peak in December. A private survey earlier in the week showed that India's factory sector ended a rough 2020 on a stronger note, as manufacturers boosted production to meet rising demand despite a grim employment situation. But Apple Mobility Trends showed that driving in India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Australia has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
Diesel consumption, a key parameter linked to economic growth and which accounts for about 40 per cent of overall refined fuel sales in India, rose 1.9 per cent to 7.18 million tonnes from the previous month, while declining by 2.8 per cent year-on-year.
Gasoline, or petrol, sales rose 1.5 per cent from November to 2.7 million tonnes and by an annual 9.3 per cent. Sales of cooking gas, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), rose more than 7 per cent to 2.53 million tonnes on a monthly and annual basis, while naphtha sales fell by 2.4 per cent to 1.24 million tonnes from a year earlier. Sales of bitumen, used for making roads, rose about 20.6 per cent, while fuel oil decreased by about 11.1 per cent last month.