Fuel usage up 2.3% in first 8 months

Fuel usage up 2.3% in first 8 months

Diesel consumption down but expected to pick up now that prices have been reduced

An attendant refuels a motorcycle at a Bangchak petrol station on Sept 20. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
An attendant refuels a motorcycle at a Bangchak petrol station on Sept 20. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Fuel consumption in the first eight months this year increased by 2.3% to 155 million litres per day, though demand for diesel fell as prices rose, according to the Department of Energy Business.

Diesel usage dropped by 3.9% to 70 million litres per day on average, from 72.8 million in the corresponding period last year.

Domestic diesel consumption could pick up in October after the cabinet approved a price reduction to just below 30 baht a litre, down from 31.9 baht, said a source at the department who requested anonymity.

The resolution requires authorities to reduce the diesel excise tax, while fuel retailers will receive a lower marketing margin on diesel sales.

The new diesel price took effect on Sept 20.

According to the department, demand for other key fuels increased between January and August. Consumption of gasoline and gasohol, a mix of gasoline and ethanol, rose by 5.5% year-on-year to 31.9 million litres a day.

Jet fuel recorded the greatest increase, soaring by 70% year-on-year to 13.3 million litres a day.

Compressed natural gas (CNG) consumption rose by 1% to 3,430 tonnes per day. The increase was attributed to a price subsidy introduced in June by the national oil and gas conglomerate PTT Plc. The measure is due to expire at the end of this year.

Fuel demand was driven by the revival of the country, which resulted in a business recovery, especially in the tourism sector, said Nanthika Thangsupanich, director-general of the department.

Demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) decreased by 0.6% to 18.1 million kilogrammes per day, attributed to the impact of low polymer prices in the petrochemical sector.

Fuel oil consumption fell 9.3% year-on-year to 5.7 million litres per day.

Ms Nanthika said fuel imports — including crude oil, LPG and refined oil — rose by 1.3% year-on-year to 1.042 million barrels per day (bpd). The import value fell by 20.1% to 92.5 billion baht.

Thai exports of refined oil declined by 3% to 164,378 bpd, with value decreasing by 24.9% to 16.5 billion baht, as global prices fell.

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