Huge rise in coronavirus cases hit India's April fuel demand

Indian state refiners' local fuel sales in April declined due to state-level restrictions aimed at stemming a rampant second wave of coronavirus infections, preliminary data shows.

The deadly second wave topped 400,000 new daily cases for the first time on Saturday.

Authorities reported 401,993 new cases in the previous 24 hours, the highest daily count globally, after 10 consecutive days over 300,000. Deaths from COVID-19 jumped by 3,523, taking the total toll in India to 211,853. 

"Overall fuel demand is down by about 7% from pre-covid level of April 2019," said A.K. Singh, head of marketing at refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp.

"We were near pre-covid level in March but new restrictions and covid wave-2 has temporarily reduced demand equivalent to about 10% of March demand for both personal mobility and industrial goods movement," Singh told Reuters.

He said the local fuel consumption will 'start to look up' in June, by when second wave of coronavirus is expected to weaken.

Analysts are expecting India's demand for transportation fuels to witness a sharper slump in May due to more impending restrictions.

Declining fuel sales will reduce crude intake by refiners. The country's top refiner Indian Oil Corp is operating refineries at an average 95% capacity. 

State companies - IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and BPCL - own about 90% of India's retail fuel outlets.

State retailers' fuel sales in April declined from their sales in March and April 2019 levels, while posting a sharp rise from the year ago month when there was a nation-wide lockdown.

Below is the table of India' preliminary fuel sales data with volumes in thousand tons.

From the Archive



{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}