Millennium Post

July fuel demand jumps 7.3%

New Delhi: India's fuel demand rose 7.3 per cent in July, driven by sharp rise in petrol and diesel consumption.

Fuel consumption in July totalled 17.05 million tonnes as compared to 15.88 million tonnes in the same month last year, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed.

The rise comes on back of a 8.6 per cent growth in June when demand totalled 17.99 million tonnes.

During July, petrol sales were up 7.8 per cent at 2.3 million tonnes while diesel consumption was up 4.8 per cent to 6.6 million tonnes.

In the previous month, petrol sales was up almost 15 per cent while diesel showed a flatish growth. While Rs 3.8 a litre hike in petrol and Rs 3.38 in diesel propelled rates to hit an all-time high of Rs 78.43 a litre and Rs 69.31, respectively, on May 29 in Delhi, prices cooled off in subsequent months. Petrol price was down to Rs 76.31 by the end of July and diesel to Rs 67.82. The drop in rates was one of the factors fuelling rise in consumption.

Rates have since gone up marginally. Petrol costs Rs 77.23 a litre and diesel Rs 68.77.

During July, jet fuel or ATF sale was up 12.7 per cent at 6,72,000 tonne.

With the government pushing for use of cleaner liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as cooking fuel by giving free connections to poor women, cooking gas (LPG) consumption was up 6 per cent at 2.04 million tonnes.

The result of LPG push was a 7.8 per cent drop in kerosene usage at 2,92,000 tonne in July when compared to the year-ago period.

Naphtha sales were up 6 per cent at 1.14 million tonnes, while consumption of petroleum coke surged almost 2 per cent to 2.2 million tonnes.

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