Gasoline demand in India rose to a four-month high in March as millions of people favored cars over public transport, with one of the world’s most populous nations seeing a resurgence in virus cases.
Motor fuel demand rose to 88,380 tons per day last month, the highest level since November last year, according to official data.
Gasoline sales surged 27 per cent from March last year, when local demand collapsed due to the roll-out of strict lockdowns to stem the spread of Covid-19.
India’s daily overall consumption of oil products fell in March from February, as demand for diesel, the most popular fuel, declined. While the pandemic has provided a shot in the arm for gasoline use — more people are opting for private transport over buses and trains — the roll-out of lockdowns as India suffers a second wave of coronavirus infections may hamper the oil demand recovery.
Government authorities are now mulling a re-imposition of restrictions as the state of Maharashtra faces a surge in infections and widespread vaccine shortages. India has prohibited exports of the drug Remdesivir, used to treat Covid-19, while the streets of Mumbai were deserted.