Saudi Arabia consumed more gasoline and less diesel in the first eight months of the year compared to 12 months ago, presenting mixed signs for the economy as the Kingdom recovers from the pandemic.
Average motor and aviation gasoline demand in Saudi Arabia jumped to 470 thousand barrels per day (kbd) in the year to August, compared to 432 kbd for the same period last year, according to data compiled by Arab News from the Jodi energy database.
However, the rise in demand for gasoline as the pandemic eases still leaves consumption below pre-pandemic levels.
Prior to 2020, average gasoline demand for the first eight months of the year typically topped 540 kbd in the Kingdom.
But last year, Saudi Arabia consumed just 455 kbd of gasoline between January and December.
By contrast, the Kingdom’s average diesel demand slipped to 497 kbd in the eight months of this year, from 506 kbd in the same period a year ago.
Diesel consumption is also still below pre-pandemic levels. For the same period in 2017-19, average diesel demand ranged between 520 kbd and 606 kbd.
Diesel is mainly used by trucks and is seen as a rough economic measure for the level of trade across the country.
The Kingdom consumed just 492 kbd of diesel in 2020, during the height of the pandemic.