* Natixis expects demand to accelerate seasonally in Q4
* Diesel demand rose 11.5% year on year
* Sales of petrol up about 16.4% on an annual basis
Aug 9 (Reuters) - Fuel demand in India rose in July to its
highest since April as pandemic restrictions and lockdowns were
unwound in most states, boosting industrial activity and
Fuel consumption, a proxy for oil demand, totalled 16.83
million tonnes, up 2.9% from June and 7.9% from the same period
a year ago, data on the website https://www.ppac.gov.in/content/147_1_ConsumptionPetroleum.aspx
of the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed on
Consumption had slumped in May to its lowest since August
when a deadly second wave of COVID-19 prompted lockdowns in most
Indian states. But most restrictions were eased in June and
further in July, driving a recovery in demand.
"We're expecting consumption to be flat for one more month,
then accelerate seasonally in Q4, which by our estimates should
be an increase over pre-pandemic levels," Natixis commodities
strategist Joel Hancock said.
Hancock, however, expects elevated domestic prices for
petrol and diesel to limit the recovery.
"There will be an impact of higher prices on consumption but
the broader pandemic recovery trend will outweigh this - so
we'll still get growth on a y/y basis and relative to 2019."
Consumption of diesel, which accounts for about 40% of
India's refined fuel sales, rose 11.5% year on year to 6.14
million tonnes, but was down 1% from the previous month.
Sales of gasoline, or petrol, increased by about 16.4% to
2.63 million tonnes on an annual basis and were up 9.2% from
Sales of cooking gas, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), rose
4.6% to 2.37 million tonnes, while naphtha sales dropped by
about 5.3% to 1.21 million tonnes.
Sales of bitumen, used for making roads, were up 4.1%, while
fuel oil was 5.1% lower.
(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru
Editing by Richard Chang and Mark Potter)