ES Ranganathan Unpacks India’s Record Fuel Demand Surge, up 5 Percent in FY 2024 Despite March Dip

“Several factors converge to explain India’s record fuel demand surge despite the March dip. Economic revival efforts, infrastructure development projects, and a rebound in industrial activity all contribute to heightened energy requirements,” says ES Ranganathan.

New Delhi (India), April 25: In a year marked by economic flux and global energy transitions, India’s fuel consumption has continued its upward trajectory, with fiscal year 2024 witnessing a remarkable surge despite a slight dip in March. ES Ranganathan, a prominent figure in India’s energy sector and the former Managing Director of IGL mentions, “According to recent data analyzed by industry experts, the nation’s overall fuel consumption surged by a remarkable 5% during the financial year, amounting to a historic high of 233.276 million tons.

Despite a marginal 0.6% decline in fuel consumption in March compared to the previous year, the cumulative demand for various petroleum products witnessed an impressive uptrend throughout FY 2024.” ES Ranganathan delves into the nuances of this trend, shedding light on the factors driving this unprecedented demand. 

March 2024 Overview

March 2024 presented a nuanced picture of India’s fuel consumption landscape. While the month witnessed a dip in demand compared to the preceding months, the decline was not unexpected given seasonal variations and evolving market dynamics. Ranganathan’s analysis underscores the resilience of India’s economy amidst evolving global energy landscapes and domestic policy reforms. Factors such as supply chain disruptions and economic adjustments likely played a role in this downturn.

“Despite the March dip, it’s crucial to contextualize the situation within a broader timeframe,” mentions Ranganathan.  “Comparing March 2024 to the same period in the previous year reveals a noticeable decrease in fuel consumption. This decline underscores the impact of external factors and internal dynamics shaping India’s energy landscape,” adds ES Ranganathan. 

Record-high Fuel Demand for FY 2024

Despite the March setback, fiscal year 2024 marked a historic milestone for India’s fuel sector, reaching an all-time high of 233.276 million tons. This robust demand signals the resilience and adaptability of India’s economy amid shifting global paradigms. Ranganathan also attributes the sustained growth in fuel demand to a combination of factors, including burgeoning industrialization, rapid urbanization, and the expanding middle-class population. Moreover, strategic initiatives aimed at bolstering infrastructure development and enhancing access to clean cooking fuels have further fueled the nation’s energy requirements.

Interestingly, while most fuel categories witnessed a surge in demand, fuel oil emerged as an outlier, experiencing a notable decline in both March and the fiscal year as a whole. Both March and the fiscal year witnessed a downturn in fuel oil consumption, indicative of shifting preferences and evolving energy strategies. “This trend reflects shifting preferences towards cleaner and more efficient energy alternatives, aligning with India’s commitment to environmental sustainability and emission reduction goals,” opines ES Ranganathan. 

The surge in fuel demand encompasses a diverse array of energy sources. Diesel, gasoline, bitumen, cooking gas, and naphtha experienced significant upticks in consumption, reflecting varied patterns of economic activity and societal needs. The spike in diesel and gasoline usage, in particular, underscores the mobility requirements and industrial expansion driving India’s growth story.

While concluding, ES Ranganathan mentions, “India’s record fuel demand surge in fiscal year 2024 underscores the nation’s resilience amidst economic uncertainties and global shifts. While March presented a temporary setback, the overall trajectory remains upward, driven by a confluence of economic, social, and policy factors. As India charts its course towards sustainable development, the energy sector will continue to play a central role in shaping its future trajectory.”

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