Diesel sales rise in December, bumpy roads ahead amid Omicron scare
Diesel sales in India increased in December compared to November last year. Reuters reports that the Indian state refiners sold around 208,150 tonnes of diesel per day in December, up 8.75 per cent from November 2021 and 1.48 per cent higher compared to December 2020. However, the sales volume was 1.60 per cent lower as compared to the diesel sold in December 2019. This means, the diesel sales in India last month was lower than the pre-Covid sales volume.
The monthly rise in diesel sales came at a time when Asia's third-largest economy is facing a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases threatening an imminent third wave. The rapidly surging cases of Omicron Coronavirus could hit fuel demand in the country in the coming months.
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The reasons behind the surge in demand and sales of diesel include the improved economic activity and subsequent vehicular activity across India. In the second half of last year, economic activities across India witnessed a revival, which resulted in increased movement of trucks that run on diesel. The reduced fuel price too helped in the growth of demands for this transport fuel.
While more fruits and vegetables were transported across the country than usual in December last year, factory output and exports continued to grow as well. This resulted in growing vehicular activity, eventually surging diesel sales, as revealed by the truckers association Indian Foundation of Transport Research & Training.
However, IFTRT also said that the rapid spread of Omicron in India in the last few days of December 2021 has initiated a sense of nervousness in trade and commerce. Along with this, the fresh Covid-19 curbs are being imposed by the state governments in order to minimise Omicron infections. These factors as combined have started to impact the road transport sector.