India’s petrol sales rose for the first time in the first half of September since the country’s lockdown in late March, signalling demand may have returned to pre-Covid-19 levels, reported a news agency .
Petrol sales between September 1 and 15 rose 2.2 per cent year-on-year and were up 7 per cent over the previous month, according to preliminary industry data. Diesel sales continue to be in negative territory, with demand falling 6 per cent year-on-year. But the demand was 19.3 per cent higher over August 2020.
This is the first time that petrol sales in the world’s third-largest oil importer have risen since the March 25 nationwide lockdown crippled economic activity and sent demand plummeting. Petrol sales rose to 9,65,000 tonnes during the first half of September as compared to 9,45,000 tonnes in the same period a year back and 9,00,000 tonnes during August 1-15, 2020. Demand for diesel, the most consumed fuel in the country, fell to 2.13 million tonnes from 2.25 million tonnes in September 1-15, 2019.
Sales were 1.78 million tonnes during the first half of August this year. Industry sources said while the Indian economy has started to pick up with lockdown restrictions being lifted since June, local lockdowns by states have hampered the demand quickly picking up.