After the ease in the Covid curbs, safety-conscious Indians are buying more cars and increasingly using personal vehicles to commute. They are shunning trains, buses and planes, and embarking on ‘travel’, even flocking to tourist destinations after months of restrictions. This is despite the record high prices of fuel.
India’s gasoline demand is thus set to hit a record this fiscal year. This is due to the rise in consumption as more people started to hit the road for business and leisure travel.
The annual passenger vehicle sales in India rose by 45% to 264,442 units in July, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
The stronger-than-expected gasoline demand could prompt Indian refiners to import the fuel or boost gasoil exports in coming months. The expected rise in India’s gasoline imports could support Asian refiners’ margins for the fuel. The country, which has a refining surplus, has put a halt on gasoline imports since May and raised gasoil exports by a fifth in July from April, according to government data.
Reduced diesel demand has forced some refiners to cut crude oil processing as their fuel storage was full. That resulted in reduction of India’s July crude oil imports to their lowest in a year.