Demand for major fuels on the increase
Fuel consumption in Thailand is on the rise again after a decline last year caused by the pandemic.
Demand for fuel increased by 13.9% to 153 million litres per day in the first two months of 2022, according to the Department of Energy Business.
The uptick was attributed mainly to the easing of lockdown measures, which led to an increase in travelling and economic activities, said department chief Nantika Thangsuphanich.
The use of leading fuels increased, except for kerosene because of a shift towards cleaner fuels.
The state's attempts to cap the prices of diesel, compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) reduced the impact of higher energy prices on demand.
Diesel, accounting for the largest quantity of fuel consumed, grew by 18.1% to 77 million litres per day on average, up from 65.1 million litres per day.
The authorities subsidise its price by almost 10 baht a litre through the Oil Fuel Fund and have reduced the diesel excise tax in order to fix its price at less than 30 baht a litre, compared with the market price of 41-42 baht a litre.
Although the price subsidy scheme did not cover benzine, consumption of this fuel grew by 1.7% to 30.1 million litres per day, up from 29.6 million litres per day.
Demand for gasohol, a mix of gasoline and ethanol, rose by 2.1% to 29.51 million litres per day while consumption of unleaded gasoline fell by 14% to 0.61 million litres per day.
Jet fuel consumption grew by 65.1% to an average of 6.88 million litres a day.
Ms Nantika said consumption of LPG grew by 7.7% to 17,230 tonnes per day. Its growth in the cooking gas segment was recorded at 0.2%, while LPG consumption for polymer manufacturing, transport and industries increased by 14%, 10% and 8.2%, respectively.
Consumption of compressed natural gas grew by 14.8% to 3,280 tonnes per day.
During the first 2 months of this year, Thailand's fuel imports grew by 12.5% to 1.03 million barrels per day (bpd), with crude oil imports accounting for 950,270 bpd, an increase of 6.7%.
The value of crude oil imports also grew by 82% to 83.7 billion baht per month.
Exports of refined oil, based on a monthly average, fell by 12.5% to 153,954 bpd, but its value rose by 51% to 14.8 billion baht.