Fuel demand hit by last year's outbreaks
Last year's Covid-19 outbreaks caused Thai fuel consumption to decline by 3.5% to an average of 133 million litres a day, down from 138 million litres a day in 2020, according to the Department of Energy Business.
All types of fuel used in the transport sector saw lower consumption following road and air travel restrictions, but liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and fuel oil or heavy oil used by industries and marine transport increased, said Nantika Thangsuphanich, director-general at the department.
She said jet fuel declined by 35% to an average of 4.86 million litres a day, down from 7.5 million litres.
Petrol consumption dropped by 8.5% to 29.03 million litres per day, from 31.7 million litres in 2020. In this category, demand for unleaded gasoline decreased by 16.7% from 0.79 million litres a day to 0.66 million litres a day, while daily consumption of gasohol, a mix of gasoline and ethanol, declined by 8.3% to 28.4 million litres on average.
Diesel consumption went down by 3.5% to an average of 63.1 million litres a day, from 65.4 million litres a day.
"The decline began after Covid-19 broke out in April, months after the second outbreak in December 2020," said Ms Nantika.
The pandemic caused the government to reimpose harsh lockdown measures, including a night-time curfew, to contain the rapid spread of the virus. People were also told to work from home and avoid unnecessary travel.
Daily consumption of compressed natural gas also decreased by 19.1% to 3,120 tonnes on average, down from 3,860 tonnes.
However, LPG consumption grew by 7.4% to 16.5 million kilogrammes per day on average, up from 15.4 million kg in 2020, according to the department.
LPG used as cooking gas for households and a feedstock for petrochemical industry, including polymer manufacturing, rose by 1.6-19%, but its consumption declined by 4.8% in the transport sector.
In 2021, Thailand imported crude oil amounting to an average of 890,183 barrels per day (BPD), a 0.9% decrease from 898,054 BPD in 2020.
The import of refined oil also dropped by 22.7% to 34,822 BPD, down from 45,070 BPD in 2020.
The rapid increase in prices of crude oil and refined oil in the global market drove up the value of crude oil imports by 63% to around 60 billion baht a month, from 37.2 billion baht a month. The value of refined oil imports also rose by 20% to 2.34 billion baht a month, from 1.94 billion baht a month.
Last year refined oil exports from Thailand rose by 9.3% to 203,182 BPD, with their monthly value increasing by 81% to 15.1 billion baht on average.