India’s fuel demand rose by 2.8 per cent in August this year, as compared with the same month last year, but was recorded at its lowest level in nine months. According to data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Oil Ministry, consumption of fuel which is a proxy for oil demand totalled to 17.04 million tonnes in August, which happens to be its lowest since November 2018.
While sales of gasoline, or petrol, showed considerable improvement of 8.9 per cent higher from a year earlier at 2.57 million tonnes, those of diesel fell 1.1 per cent to 6.12 million tonnes, marking its first year-on-year percentage decline in nine months.
Meanwhile, the sale of cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) surged 13% to 2.40 million tonnes and that of naphtha increased by 3.7 per cent to 1.15 million tonnes. Bitumen, which is used to make roads, presented an increase in sales by 23.%, while the usage of fuel oil edged lower to 15.9 per cent in August.
Overall, India revised down its fuel consumption for July to 17.68 million tonnes, which is an increase of 3.9% from the previous year. It happens to be its biggest year-on-year percentage gain since January.
According to earlier data, the growth of eight core industries including coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement, and electricity in India dropped to 2.1 per cent in July.
The growth rate in production of steel, cement, and electricity recorded a decline to 6.6%, 7.9%, and 4.2%, respectively, against 6.9%, 11.2%, and 6.7%. The output of coal, crude oil, natural gas and refinery products was recorded negative in a review.
The drop in growth, which comes amid the Indian economy recording its lowest quarterly growth for 6.5 years, is being credited mainly to a contraction in coal, crude oil, and natural gas production.