India's petrol and diesel sales in jumped sharply in May compared with April in a recovery from historic lows, after a partial easing of the lockdown imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic, provisional sales data showed on Monday.
But industry analysts expect a full-scale recovery to pre-COVID-19 consumption levels in India to be months away as the monsoon season approaches while manufacturing activities remain low and transportation demand takes a hit in some parts of the country.
State-retailers' petrol sales in May rose by about 83% from April to about 1.6 million tonnes. Sales of diesel, which accounts for about two-fifths of the country's overall fuel sales, rose by about 69% in May compared with April to 4.8 million tonnes, provisional sales data from state fuel retailers showed.
However, petrol and diesel sales in May are still down by about 36% and 31% respectively from a year earlier, after contracting more than 50% in April year on year.
State companies Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum own about 90% of the retail fuel outlets in India.
The sources who provided the provisional industry data asked not to be identified citing confidentiality.
Sales of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) rose 13% in May from a year ago while jet fuel declined by 85% during the same period.
"April likely marked the nadir with diesel demand slumping by more than 50% y-o-y," said Emma Richards, senior oil & gas analyst at Fitch Solutions.
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