Jet fuel demand drives surge in Thai fuel consumption

Jet fuel demand drives surge in Thai fuel consumption

Overall consumption up 15.4% in another sign of post-pandemic recovery

An airport refuelling vehicle is filled next to an AirAsia aircraft at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan.
An airport refuelling vehicle is filled next to an AirAsia aircraft at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan.

Thai fuel consumption rose by 15.4% year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2022 as the pandemic eased, driven by an upsurge in jet fuel demand, according to the Department of Energy Business.

The amount of fuel consumed in the period averaged 150 million litres per day (MLD), up from 130 million in the same period last year.

From January to October, demand for most types of fuel rose, except for costly kerosene, which decreased as people shifted to cheaper fuels, said Nanthika Thangsupanich, director-general of the department.

The government started reopening the country in late 2021, relaxed air travel restrictions and, finally, downgraded Covid-19 from a “dangerous communicable disease” to a “communicable disease under surveillance” in October this year.

Jet fuel consumption recorded the highest growth of 88.2%, to 8.2 MLD, up from 4.3 MLD in the same period last year, said Ms Nanthika.

Demand for gasoline and gasohol, a mixture of gasoline and ethanol, rose by 5% to 29.8 MLD. Diesel consumption increased by 3.6% to 72.2 MLD.

Use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) grew by 7.8% to 17.8 MLD. Demand for compressed natural gas rose by 9.7% to 3,390 tonnes per day.

Fuel oil consumption rose by 18.5% to 6.37 MLD. Demand for kerosene fell by 10.9% to 15,000 litres per day.

On the international trade front, imports of crude oil, LPG and refined oil rose by 14.6% year-on-year to the equivalent of 1.013 million barrels per day (bpd), up from around 885,000 bpd in the same period of last year.

Exports of refined oil declined by 18.9% to 162,000 bpd, from 199,000 bpd in the same period in 2021.

Thai fuel consumption has increased in lockstep with greater economic activity following the lifting of lockdown measures, said Ms Nanthika.

Consumption of jet fuel (8.2 MLD) and gasoline and gasohol (29.8 MLD) was still lower than the 17 MLD of jet fuel and 31.7 MLD of gasoline and gasohol consumed in the first 10 months of 2019, according to data compiled by the Bangkok Post.

But average consumption of diesel, LPG and compressed natural gas exceeded levels recorded in January 2020, just before the country was hit by Covid-19.

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