Mirroring slowdown in the economy, India's fuel consumption declined by 1.4 per cent in May even though crude oil imports soared by nearly 19 per cent.
Consumption of oil products like petrol and diesel dipped to 11.47 million tonnes in May from 11.64 million tonnes in the same month a year ago, according to the data released by the petroleum ministry in New Delhi.
Demand for diesel, the most consumed fuel, was down 1.3 per cent at 4.74 million tonnes while petrol consumption was up 4.9 per cent at 1.1 million tonnes. Naphtha, the most used industrial fuel, saw a massive 28.9 per cent decline to 763,300 tonnes over the same month last year.
Reflecting slowdown in air traffic, jet fuel or ATF consumption was down 6.3 per cent to 376,400 tonnes.
Crude oil imports, however, jumped 18.8 per cent to 12.02 million tonnes on the back of higher inward shipments by public sector refineries. PSUs imported 28.9 per cent more crude at 8.04 million tonnes while private refiners Essar and Reliance saw a modest 2.5 per cent growth to 3.97 million tonnes.
Import of petroleum products was down 15.6 per cent to 1.47 million tonnes in May despite diesel shipments growing 66.3 per cent to 625,800 tonnes.
Fuel exports dipped 33.4 per cent to 1.93 million tonnes with a decline in diesel, ATF and petrol outward shipments.
During April-May, fuel consumption was down 0.6 per cent to 23.06 million tonnes with diesel demand growing 1.7 per cent to 9.48 million tonnes over the same period last year.
ATF consumption was down 4.7 per cent to 754,000 tonnes and naphtha fell by 15.5 per cent to 1.81 million tonnes.
Oil product imports in first two months of current fiscal were down 22.9 per cent to 3.23 million tons while diesel saw 28.8 per cent rise in inward shipments at 1.34 million tons.
Crude oil imports were up 2.7 per cent to 21.72 million tonnes in April-May compared to the year-ago period.
Fuel exports dipped 34.4 per cent to 3.78 million tonnes, the data showed.