Pandemic dampens fuel consumption

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An employee fills a customer’s tank at a gas station in Bangchak.

The Covid-19 outbreak caused fuel consumption in Thailand to decline 4.4% to a daily average of 131 million liters in the first eight months of 2021, compared to a daily average of 137 million liters for the corresponding period last year, so the Ministry of Energy.

Demand in the country for the main types of fuel, including diesel, gasoline, kerosene and compressed natural gas, declined overall. However, the demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) increased.

Department head Nantika Thangsuphanich said tight controls on road and air traffic in the second and third quarters caused the decline in demand.

Jet fuel consumption has continued to decline the most, dropping 47.2% to an average of 4.55 million liters per day, compared to 8.6 million liters in the same period last year, she said.

The demand for compressed natural gas fell by 18.6% to an average of 3,140 tons per day compared to 3,800 tons per day in the same period last year.

Petrol consumption fell by 7.3% from 30.7 million liters in the same period of the previous year to an average of 28.5 million liters per day.

In this category, the demand for unleaded gasoline decreased by 15.8% to an average of 0.67 million liters per day, while the consumption of gasohol, a mixture of gasoline and ethyl alcohol, decreased by 7% to an average of 27.8 million liters per day said Mrs. Nantika.

Diesel consumption fell by 4.9% to an average of 61.9 million liters per day.

“The decline in fuel consumption started after the Covid-19 outbreak flared up in April, months after the second outbreak in December last year,” Ms. Nantika said.

People were made aware of the spread of the virus and asked to work from home. A night curfew has also been imposed.

From January to August, according to the ministry, LPG consumption rose by 9.8% to an average of 16,500 tons per day, compared to 15,000 tons in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Consumption of compressed natural gas fell by 18.2% to an average of 3,140 tons per day, compared to 3,800 tons in the same period last year.

Imports of crude oil and refined oil fell 0.1% to 904.83 kilobarrel per day (KBD), Ms. Nantika said.

Thailand imported 868,161 KBD of crude oil, down 0.1%. A rapid rise in crude oil prices on the world market caused the import value to rise by up to 42.1% to 57.7 billion baht per month, compared to 40.64 billion baht in the corresponding period last year.

Refined oil imports rose 21.8% to 37,431 barrels per day (BPD), with the monthly average increasing 57% to 2.24 billion baht.

Meanwhile, refined oil exports fell 1.9% to 193.85 BPD, but its value rose 49% on a monthly average to 13.09 billion baht.

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