Domestic fuel sales by refiners recovered in the first half of June, as India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer started easing lockdown restrictions, though were still lower than year-ago levels, preliminary data showed on Wednesday.
Gasoline sales during June 1-15 jumped 13 per cent and diesel sales rose 12 per cent, compared with the same period last month, data compiled by the state refiners showed.
India’s fuel demand in May slumped to its lowest since last August with a second COVID-19 wave stalling mobility and muting economic activity in the Asian country.
However, the data showed that sales of gasoline fell 3.5 per cent and diesel declined 7.5 per cent in the first half of June, when compared with the same period last year.
State-owned companies – Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd – own about 90 per cent of India’s retail fuel outlets.
Indian fuel demand had recovered in March to levels seen before the first wave of the coronavirus early last year, but declined since April due to restrictions amid a staggering spike in infections.
Many Indian states have now begun easing COVID-19 restrictions as the number of new infections dropped to the lowest in more than two months.