• Oil consumption growth likely to spike this fiscal year

    Oil consumption growth in the current fiscal year will likely exceed 10.9% of the previous year, if the current consumption trend continues, an oil ministry arm has said. A 7.8% jump in the consumption of petroleum products in the country in April-June, compared to 5.2% in the year-ago period, has prompted this prediction from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC).

    “Typically, April-June is sluggish in performance than the rest of the year. Going by the trend, it’s likely petroleum products consumption growth for 2016-17 could be better than that of last year,” the PPAC said in its monthly review. A higher fuel consumption signifies faster clip of economic growth for the country, currently growing at 7.6% annually.

    In April-June, the biggest consumption growth was recorded in petrol (10%), liquefied petroleum gas (7.8%), fuel oil (22.9%), bitumen (13.9%) and aviation turbine fuel (12.1%). For diesel, the most consumed petrol product in India, it rose 4.7%. Kerosene dived 7.7% following a general shift towards cooking gas and increased power availability.

    In June, diesel consumption grew 1.5%, the slowest month-on-month pace since July 2015, mainly because people anticipated favourable prices in May and July and shifted some offtake away from June, according to PPAC.

    Domestic prices follow international trends and are revised fortnightly, prompting dealers to temper order sizes on price change anticipation. Higher power availability and good monsoon, that affects road transport and lowers diesel consumption for farm pumps too contributed to lower diesel figures, the PPAC said.

    In June, petrol sales rose 4.4%, much lower than quarterly growth of 10%, primarily due to shifting of offtake as buyers anticipated lower prices in May and July, PPAC said. Growth in consumption of petrol was higher than diesel mainly due to increasing consumer preference for petrol-driven vehicles as the price differential has waned and policy thrust on scrapping older diesel vehicles gotten louder, PPAC said. Brad Marchand Authentic Jersey

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