India’s fuel demand in August posted its biggest decline since April as local lockdowns put brakes on economic activity and transportation, official data showed on Thursday.
Petroleum product sales fell to 14.39 million tonnes in August, down 7.5 per cent over the previous month and about 16 per cent from a year earlier, data from the oil ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed. The decline in August was the sixth consecutive year-on-year slide.
Fuel demand had slumped by a record 48.6 per cent in April to 9.4 million tonnes as the government imposed a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus. It recovered in the subsequent two months but has been falling again since July, on a monthly basis.
Sale of diesel, the most consumed fuel in the country, fell 12 per cent to 4.84 million tonnes in August from 5.51 million tonnes in the previous month. On an annual basis, the demand for diesel declined by 20.7 per cent.
Petrol sales fell 7.4 per cent year-on-year to 2.38 million tonnes although it rose 5.3 per cent from 2.57 million tonnes in July as commuters preferred driving to using public transportation.