Diesel, electricity demand slumps
Monthly sales data of public sector fuel retailers, who dominate 90 per cent of the market, showed diesel consumption falling 7 per cent from a year ago in November
,NEW DELHI: India’s diesel and power consumption, considered a bellwether for economic activity, contracted sharply in November as festive season demand fizzled out, indicating that the economic recovery remains fragile as renewed curbs in several states hit by a second wave of infections restricted movement of people and goods.
Monthly sales data of public sector fuel retailers, who dominate 90 per cent of the market, showed diesel consumption falling 7 per cent from a year ago in November. On monthly basis, however, diesel grew 8 per cent from October, when consumption had shot past the pre-pandemic level for the first time in eight months. Power demand dropped 4.7 per cent to 98.37 BU (billion units) in same month from 93.94 BU in year-ago period.
The drop in diesel and power demand follows data last week showing the economy shrinking 7.5 per cent in the third quarter after slumping nearly 24 per cent in the previous three months. Reduced fuel consumption is also telling on refinery operations. Latest data on core industries last week showed refinery output declining 17 per cent from a year ago in October and 16.4 per cent in the April-October period.