Government data showed power consumption spiking to 138.9 billion units (BU) compared to 113.9 BUs a year ago and 112.7 Bus in October 2021 on the back of post-monsoon resumption of economic activities and Durga Puja festivities in large parts of the country.
The same factors added traction to October fuel sales, with preliminary market data showing a 5% increase in diesel from a year ago, the sharpest increase since May. Sequentially, consumption grew at 18.7% over September, aided by increased movement of material and people, especially interstate travel during the Puja holidays.
Petrol consumption, which had turned the corner in September with a 5.4% year-on-year growth on record auto sales, continued to rise in October — albeit at a modest 3% from a year ago. Sequentially too, consumption managed to stay in the green zone with just 2.5% growth.
Jet fuel sales grew at nearly 7% compared to October 2022 as more people took to the skies. On monthly basis too, sales were nearly 3% higher than September. But still, consumption was about 6% short of the October 2019 — the pre-pandemic year.
Diesel consumption, a key indicator of economic activities, have been in the slow lane since the onset of the monsoon in June. This is a seasonal phenomenon as rains disrupt demand from the construction and agriculture sectors, while flooding in parts of the country hampers movement of people and goods.
Petrol sales have managed to stay in the positive zone on people’s continued preference for personal vehicles for local as well as intra-city travel in view of the sweltering heat. Petrol consumption had posted lowest annual growth of 0.4% in August.