Diesel sales rose to 2.65 million tonnes in the first fortnight of October from 2.43 million tonne a year ago and 2.13 million tonne in the first half of September.
The demand for diesel in India saw the first annual increase since the lockdown began in March 2020. Diesel sales rose to 2.65 million tonnes in the first fortnight of October from 2.43 million tonne a year ago, and 2.13 million tonne in the first half of September, PTI reported. Fuel sales were expected to rise during the festive season but the sales increased even before that. With an 8.8 per cent rise in diesel sales, both petrol and diesel have nearly reached the pre-Covid levels. Petrol had returned to pre-Covid levels last month and have posted a 1.5 per cent rise in sales in the first half of October.
The fuel demand took a nosedive since March as the government had imposed a complete lockdown to arrest the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Even after the nationwide lockdown was lifted, demand was subdued and supply disruptions were still in place as various state governments imposed regional lockdowns. Oil demand almost halved in the month of April. However, with the easing of the regional lockdowns and supply chain returning towards normalcy, the fuel sales have started to rise.
The oil demand is likely to pick up during the October-December quarter and by the end of the current financial year, the oil demand should be back to pre-Covid levels, Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation, told the agency. Meanwhile, it is to be noted that while petrol is mostly used in personal vehicles, diesel is used in personal as well as commercial vehicles and industry. Petrol sales had climbed faster as personal mobility was being preferred leading to more private cars on the road, but, in the case of diesel, consumption sectors like school buses and public transport were at a very subdued level.