Aviation Turbine Fuel sales dive by 94% in April; Fuel sales slump 50%

India’s Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) consumption collapsed by 94 per cent in April 2020 as most airlines have stopped flying. Fuel consumption slumped by a record 50 per cent in April as all petroleum products except LPG saw massive demand erosion following a nationwide lockdown halted economic activity and travel. According to provisional industry data for fuel consumption in the first half of April, petrol sales were down 64 per cent, while diesel slumped by 61 per cent.

The only fuel that showed growth was LPG as the government dole of free cooking gas cylinders to poor households fired up consumption by 21 per cent during April 1 to 15, the data showed.

The data pertains to sales made by three public sector (PSU) oil marketing companies. This is the biggest ever drop in sales and the first data for the complete lockdown period. In comparison, India had consumed 2.4 million tonnes of petrol and 7.3 million tonnes of diesel in April 2019. As much as 6,45,000 tonnes of ATF was used in April last year.

Further, state-controlled oil marketing companies (OMCs) refrained from changing the prices of fuel for over a month in a row amid the nationwide lockdown extension. While the global benchmark for oil, Brent crude prices have fallen to about 18-year low to $28 a barrel.

In Delhi, a litre of petrol costs Rs 69.59 while diesel costs Rs 62.29 litre. Citizens in Mumbai have to pay Rs 76.31 for a litre of petrol while diesel retails at Rs 66.21 per litre. Similarly, in Kolkata, people have to pay Rs 73.30 for a litre of petrol while diesel costs Rs 65.62 per litre.

In Bengaluru, people will have to shell out Rs 73.55 for a litre of petrol and Rs 65.96 for diesel. The price of petrol in Gurugram is Rs 70.21 a litre while that of diesel is Rs 62.08 a litre. In Noida, petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged at Rs 72.03 and Rs 62.96 per litre, respectively, according to the data available on the Indian Oil Corp website.

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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