India’s fuel consumption declines to decade low in March

Use of petroleum products falls 17.79 per cent to 16.08 million tonnes as vehicles remain off the roads

Diesel, which is the most consumed fuel in the country, saw demand contract by 24.23 per cent to 5.65 million tonnes. Photo: PTI

As the nationwide lockdown entered the sixteenth day on Thursday (April 9), official data has shown a decline of 18 per cent in the country’s fuel consumption in March. This is the  biggest reduction in more than a decade, as almost all vehicles remain off the roads.

The data, released on April 9, revealed that consumption of petroleum products fell 17.79 per cent to 16.08 million tonnes in March as the demand for petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) fell. This is due to a halt in economic activity and travel.

Diesel, which is the most consumed fuel in the country, saw demand contract by 24.23 per cent to 5.65 million tonnes. This is the biggest fall in the diesel consumption the country had recorded as most trucks went off-road and railways stopped plying trains.

Also, petrol sales dropped 16.37 per cent to 2.15 million tonnes as the 21-day nationwide lockdown enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 took most cars and two-wheelers off the road.

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