India’s fuel demand surges 5.7% due to booming economy

Diesel sales rise by 6%, attributed to heightened factory operations and a rising demand for truck transportation

India witnessed a 5.7% surge in fuel consumption in February compared to the same month last year, according to recent data released by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. 

The nation, ranking as the third-largest importer of crude oil globally, experienced a rise in total fuel usage to nearly 5 million barrels per day, equivalent to over 19.7 million metric tons, as reported by the ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.

This increase represents a 5.1% growth in daily fuel consumption from January, adjusting for the longer duration of January. 

Diesel sales, a critical component of India’s fuel consumption, soared by more than 6% in February 2024, both in a year-on-year comparison and against January 2024’s figures. 

The surge in diesel usage is attributed to heightened factory operations and a rising demand for truck transportation.

Predictions by experts, including Viktor Katona, a leading crude analyst at Kpler, suggest that India’s diesel demand will reach unprecedented levels later this year, potentially surpassing 2 million barrels per day by June—a first in the nation’s history. 

This forecast aligns with the petroleum ministry’s expectations of a continued rise in fuel demand, projecting a 2.7% growth for the fiscal year 2024-2025. 

Specifically, gasoline consumption is anticipated to climb by 5.4%, while diesel demand is also expected to increase by 2.7%.

Furthermore, analysts project that India will soon eclipse China as the primary driver of global oil demand growth by the decade’s end. 

This shift is underpinned by India’s remarkable economic expansion over the past year, a contrast to the stagnating growth observed in other major economies, including China. 

Factors such as India’s high GDP growth, industrialization, urbanization, and the expansion of its middle class are poised to reposition the nation as the central figure in global oil demand dynamics.

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