Retail demand for petrol and diesel in India has fallen in the first half of July, a Reuters report said citing data from oil marketing companies.
High fuel prices in India and renewed lockdown restrictions by state governments in various parts of the country have lowered the use of motor vehicles. India has now crossed the one-million mark in the number of COVID-19 cases, becoming the third most affected country in the world after the US and Brazil. Infections have spiked in states and districts that had fewer cases before June, calling for lockdown and other movement restrictions by local authorities.
In April, when the whole nation was in complete lockdown, the fuel demand growth in India had plunged to a historic low.
According to data from Indian Oil Corp quoted by Reuters in a report, diesel sales of state-owned refiners fell by 18 percent to 2.2 million tonnes in the first half of July from the same period in June, and by about 21 percent from the same period a year ago. Diesel sales account for two-fifth of overall refined fuel sales in India.
Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum, the three state-owned oil marketing companies, own about 90 percent of retail fuel outlets in India.
As for petrol, sales fell 6.7 percent to 880,000 tonnes in the first half of July from the same period in June, and by about 12 percent from a year earlier.