The pan-India coronavirus-induced lockdown reduced the overall consumption of the country by as much as 70 percent since March.
Representative image (Source: Reuters)
India, one of the largest consumers of the fuel, reported a decline in consumption for the first time in more than two decades in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Bloomberg calculations of provisional data published by the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell, total petroleum demand fell 10.8 percent last year from 2019, and was at a five-year low of 193.4 million tons. The annual contraction was the first on record, going back as far as 1999.
The pan-India coronavirus-induced lockdown reduced the overall consumption of the country by as much as 70 percent since March. The fall also led to a sharp cutback in crude processing and operations at petrochemical plants.
With several relaxations introduced, the central government is trying to pull the country’s economy out of the slump.
Monthly consumption of petroleum fuels, a proxy of crude oil demand, was about 1.8 percent short of the previous year’s levels in December and touched an 11-month high, Bloomberg reported.