Indian Government enforced a lockdown to combat the Coronavirus outbreak. To further stop the transmission of the deadly virus originating in Wuhan province of China, India restricted its citizen’s movement. Vehicular movement in the country is completely stopped with only essential and emergency-related vehicles being allowed on the roads. The lockdown decision has impacted the sales of petrol and diesel. Economy and travel activity has come to a near standstill leading to a decline in petrol, diesel and Aviation Turbine Fuel consumption in India.
With the lockdown in progress and rumours of an extension, oil retailers sales are going down with every passing day. According to the provisional data shared by refiners, India’s petroleum product consumption went down by 17.79 per cent to 16.08 million tonnes in March. Diesel sale is similarly affected with demand contracted by 24.23 per cent to 5.65 million tonnes. With most trucks off the road and trains stopped from plying, a drop in diesel sales was expected.
Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) consumption is down by 90 per cent as India has banned all domestic and international flights. Flight travel has ceased since mid March with the only Government approved flights taking to the air. As a result, the current ATF consumption has decreased by 32.4 per cent to 4,84,000 tonnes.
India is the world's third-largest energy consumer but it saw a collapse in the demand for fuels. The only fuel which experienced a rise in demand is LPG with households rushing to stock up their cylinders due to the lockdown. Thus LPG demand increased by 1.7 per cent in the month, according to the IOC data quoted by news agency PTI.
With the decline in sales, oil retailers are believed to be looking towards the export fuel in the coming month. Recently, IOC released a tender to export more than 50,000 tonnes of gasoline and some quantity of reformate. Further, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Limited (MRPL) has issued tenders to export 1,30,000 tonnes diesel and 25,000 tonnes of gasoline in April.