India's fuel consumption jumped to a record high in March, fuelled by robust economic activity in the world's third-largest oil consumer, Reuters reported, citing data from the Indian Oil Ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.
The data showed that fuel consumption, which is considered a proxy for oil demand, increased by 5% from the previous year to 4.83 million barrels per day (20.5 million tonnes), marking the highest level since 1998.
"Bitumen, used for building roads, was the main source of growth in March, whereas transportation fuels, specifically diesel and gasoline, had been the drivers in previous months", Viktor Katona, a lead crude analyst at Kpler, was quoted as saying.
He added that this is most certainly a reflection of India's robust economic growth, and the infrastructure-building spree is still mirroring that strength.
Independent oil market analyst Sugandha Sachdeva told Reuters that the overall jump in consumption could have been driven by the government's increased capital expenditure allocation.
"That means huge demand for construction and infrastructure, leading to more demand for oil products, especially in a pre-election year."
Increased oil products exports to Europe amid Western sanctions on Russia and a traveling revival boosting jet fuel demand could be additional drivers, Sachdeva added.
India outlined plans in March to invest billions of dollars in airports, aircraft, and recruitment as the world's fastest-growing economy seeks to meet booming air travel demand.
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