State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) witnessed a more than 70% increase in petrol consumption and a more than 60% increase in that for diesel for May 2020 over April 2020 as the easing of lockdown curbs kicked in.

The demand for sensitive petroleum products is likely to rise even more in June with the further easing of restrictions, even as the OMCs have increased prices with effect from June 1.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), India’s largest fuel retailer, witnessed a more than 70% growth in petrol sales to 10,11,020 kilo litres (KL) in May compared with April.

Similarly, diesel sales had risen by more than 60% to 23,73,094 KL in May compared with April. However, sales are yet to reach the levels seen in May 2019.

“Compared with May 2019, petrol sales have fallen by 35% and diesel sales by 28%,” a senior IOCL official told The Hindu.

The OMCs are expecting sales to return to normal levels by June, when most of the curbs may be lifted.

“With significant improvement in May, in June, we expect our sales to reach the pre-lockdown period, if not more,” a BPCL director said.

The OMCs have increased the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) by almost 50% with effect from June 1. A KL of ATF will cost ₹33,575 in Delhi, ₹38,543 in Kolkata, ₹33,070.5 in Mumbai and ₹34,569 in Chennai.

Global LPG prices rise

Cooking gas prices have been increased by ₹11.5 a cylinder to ₹593 in New Delhi and ₹590.5 in Mumbai respectively due to an increase in international LPG prices.

In Kolkata and Chennai, the LPG prices have been increased by ₹31.5 and ₹37 a cylinder to ₹616 and ₹606.5 respectively. The retail selling price of LPG (in Delhi) for May was reduced from ₹744 to ₹581.50 per cylinder for all consumers in line with the drop in international prices.

However, this increase will not impact the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala (PMUY) beneficiaries as they are covered by the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and entitled to a free cylinder till June 30.

The prices of petrol and diesel have been increased by ₹2 a litre in Mumbai to ₹78.32 and ₹68.21 respectively as the State government decided to hike the cess on the two fuels. Petrol and diesel prices, however, remained unchanged in other metros.

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