India's May fuel consumption soars on robust manufacturing
(Reuters) - India's fuel consumption surged in May with diesel sales scaling a record high, buoyed by strong factory activity in the third-largest oil consumer in the world.
India's factory output expanded at the quickest pace since October 2020 last month at a time when regional peers such as China, Japan and South Korea have seen their manufacturers struggle for prolonged periods.
Sales of diesel, mainly used by trucks and commercially run passenger vehicles, increased around 5.1% in May to an all-time high of 8.22 million tons from a month earlier, as per PPAC data going back until 1998.
The higher manufacturing boosted purchasing activity and lifted trucking demand, said Viktor Katona, lead crude analyst at Kpler, adding diesel demand also got a fillip from agriculture, particularly rice and wheat, with most harvesting done in April-May.
India's delayed monsoons also supported diesel consumption by translating into better construction activity overall, Katona said.
Fuel consumption, a proxy for oil demand, totaled 20.03 million tons in May, up from 18.54 million tons in April.
Sales of gasoline, or petrol, were 16% higher than the previous month at 3.35 million tons.
Cooking gas, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), sales increased 9.3% to 2.35 million tons and naphtha sales rose 6.5% to 1.15 million tons, the data showed.