India’s fuel demand plunges in May during the Covid-19 shutdowns

India’s fuel demand plunges in May during the Covid-19 shutdowns

Daily gasoline and diesel sales at India’s state-owned refineries fell about a fifth in May a month earlier, preventing Covid-19’s second deadly wave from harming industrial activity and consumption, preliminary data showed on Tuesday.

Daily gasoline sales fell by about 19% in May compared to April, while diesel consumption, which is linked to industrial activity and fell by more than two-fifths of India’s fuel demand, fell by 19.9%, according to data collected by state-owned refineries.

Growth in plant activity in India slowed sharply in May as coronary virus cases rose to hit new demand and outflows, the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers ’Index compiled by IHS Markit showed on Tuesday.

The rise in gasoline and diesel retail prices, along with the blockades, led to the arrival of fuel demand in May, an official at one of the refineries said. He hoped that fuel consumption would begin to improve soon, as the number of infections was declining and the state was easing restrictions.

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India’s official daily number of coronavirus infections has been the lowest in nearly six weeks at 196,427.

Indian fuel demand reached pre-pandemic levels in March, but has been slipping since April as a result of a recovery from infections, and Indian refineries reduced raw processing and imports.

Rystad Energy Consulting expects India’s refinery to drop 4.2 million barrels (bpd) per day in May, 600,000 bpd less than previously forecast.

“After showing astonishing resilience in April, we expect Indian refineries to drop by 700,000 bpd in May, as refineries will have to adjust their profit to meet the immediate demand for destruction,” Rystad said.

State-owned companies – Indian Oil Corp., Hindustan Petroleum Corp. and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. – They own about 90% of India’s retail fuel outlets.

However, domestic fuel sales by state-owned retailers were higher a year earlier when the nationwide shutdown occurred.

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