Weak fuel demand pushes India’s oil imports to 9-month low – .

Weak fuel demand pushes India’s oil imports to 9-month low – .

Indian refiners imported the lowest volume of crude oil in nine months in June 2021, as purchases slowed in April and May when India imposed regional mobility restrictions to curb a resurgence of COVID cases, a Reuters reported on Friday, citing data on tankers from commercial sources.

India is estimated to have imported around 3.9 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in June, down 7% from imports in May.

Imports in June 2021 were still higher than in the same month of 2020, when India – and most of the world – was on lockdown nationwide.

The drop in crude oil imports in June 2021 among the world’s third-largest oil importer was not surprising, given that April and May – the months in which refiners likely named oil shipments for June – saw the peak of India’s COVID crisis, with grim records for new cases, hospitalizations and daily deaths. The federal government has decided against a nationwide lockdown, fearing economic collapse. But cities and more populous areas have been subject to regional closures and various forms of curfews, which have lowered demand for gasoline and diesel for road transport.

India’s fuel demand plunged 9.4% in April from March due to the COVID crisis. Fuel demand in India continued to slump in May as gasoline sales fell to their lowest level in a year and diesel consumption fell to its lowest level in seven months in the first two weeks of May.

As a result, refiners reduced their throughputs and offered less crude for arrival in June as inventories increased. For example, India’s largest refiner, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), had cut capacity utilization to 84 percent in mid-May, down from 100 percent last November when demand rebounded.

In June 2021, Iraq remained India’s top oil supplier, with Saudi Arabia second and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) gaining four places to take third place among India’s largest crude suppliers. , according to data obtained by Reuters.

By Charles Kennedy for Oil chauffage

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