India’s March fuel demand hits 3-year high, petrol sales at record peak

  • India’s fuel demand rose to a three-year high in Mar 22, with petrol sales hitting an all-time peak, as the market accumulated supplies foreseeing price spikes while easing COVID-related curbs boosted demand.
  • Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, rose 4.2% m/m to 19.41 million tonnes, its highest since Mar 19’s record high, according to the Indian oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell data.
  • “Driven by the recovery in the transportation fuels segment, the demand for petroleum products is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of FY 2023,” said Hetal Gandhi, director at CRISIL Research.
  • “High prices did impact segments in the industrial fuels space, impacting bitumen, naphtha and pet coke.”
  • “So this (higher prices) likely will weigh on demand prospects in the near term, but with the economy still expanding, oil demand is likely to continue recovering over the coming months,” UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.
  • Sales of gasoline, or petrol, were 6.2% higher y/y at 2.91 million tonnes, their highest ever, according to data going back to 1998.

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