The second wave of coronavirus sweeping the nation has pummelled fuel sales in April as local restrictions clamped to curb the spread of inflection stifled demand, preliminary data showed.
‘At the end of April, overall fuel demand is down by about 7 per cent from pre-Covid level of April 2019,’ Arun Singh, Director for Marketing and Refineries at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), said.
India was under one of the world’s severest lockdowns in April 2020, bringing to a halt almost all economic activity. Fuel sales had halved that month and so comparing current month sale to April 2020 will not throw a correct interpretation.
Sales of petrol — used in cars and motorcycles — fell to 2.14 million tonnes in April, the lowest since August, according to the preliminary data of state-owned fuel retailers.
Petrol sales in April were 6.3 per cent lower than March 2021 and 4.1 per cent lower than April 2019. Petrol sales in April 2020 were 872,000 tonnes.
Demand for diesel — the most used fuel in the country — fell to 5.9 million tonnes in April 2021, down 1.7 per cent from the previous month and 9.9 per cent from April 2019. Diesel sales in April 2020 were 2.84 million tonnes.