Coronavirus Effect: India’s Fuel Demand Drops 11 Per Cent in March as COVID-19 Hits Aviation

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A worker holds a fuel nozzle at a petrol pump. (image: Reuters)

A employee holds a gas nozzle at a petroleum pump. (picture: Reuters)

Restrictions and journey advisories, in addition to a slowdown in industrial exercise, has led to the autumn in demand.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: March 20, 2020, 1:12 PM IST

India’s gas demand has dropped by a steep 10-11 per cent within the first two weeks of March because the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) led to the cancellation of flights and a discount in industrial exercise. The nation had consumed 19.5 million tonnes of petroleum merchandise in March 2019, official information confirmed. Assuming consumption in two halves of the month was virtually the identical, as a lot as 10 million tonnes of gas was consumed through the first fortnight of March 2019.

“The petroleum industry is witnessing the impact of coronavirus on sales of all petroleum products. The overall demand for liquid fuels has gone down by 10-11 per cent in the first fortnight of March 2020,” stated Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation’s largest gas retailer, in a press release. Restrictions and journey advisories, in addition to a slowdown in industrial exercise, has led to the autumn in demand.

While diesel gross sales as dropped by over 13 per cent, jet gas gross sales have slumped by over 10 per cent. Petrol gross sales have seen a decline of over 2 per cent. “Due to restriction in movement and travel advisories, the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) sales have dropped by over 10 per cent. The bunker fuel sales are also down by approximately 10 per cent,” IOC stated.

Crisil stated the COVID-19 pandemic has made the already subdued demand outlook ever grimmer.

“The airline industry accounts for 6-8 per cent of total crude consumption. As more countries are implementing bans over COVID-19 in both international and domestic travel, the impact is likely to worsen. And if the pandemic is not contained over the next two-three months, the consequences will be severe,” it stated in a word.

COVID-19, it stated, is additional drying up demand from the highway transport and airways segments in India as effectively. “Hence, consumption growth of petroleum products is expected to be low at 2-3 per cent in fiscal 2021,” it stated.

Separately, Morgan Stanley cuts India’s gas demand estimate for the following monetary yr by 5 per cent.

Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, Oil Ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) had projected gas demand to develop to 222.79 million tonnes within the fiscal yr beginning April (2020-21) from an estimated 216 million tonnes in 2019-20. ATF consumption was projected to rise to eight.7 from an estimated 8.19 million tonnes in 2019-20 whereas diesel demand was to develop to 86.5 million tonnes from 84.26 million tonnes. Petrol consumption was projected to rise to 33.four million tonnes from virtually 31 million tonnes within the present fiscal. In the primary 11 months of 2019-20, gas demand was 197.6 million tonnes. ATF consumption got here at 7.5 million tonnes in April 2019 to February 2020 whereas diesel demand was 77 million tonnes. Petrol consumption got here at 27.Eight million tonnes in April-February.

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