By Nakul Iyer
(Reuters) -India’s Might crude oil imports slipped to their lowest in three months as gas demand sagged amid a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that crimped financial exercise and mobility, authorities knowledge confirmed on Monday.
Nonetheless, imports have been nonetheless 18.2% increased from a yr earlier, knowledge on the web site of the Petroleum Planning and Evaluation Cell (PPAC) confirmed.
On a month-to-month foundation, crude oil imports on the planet’s third largest oil shopper and importer dropped 5.5% to 17.26 million tonnes from April.
Final month’s decline in imports comes on the heels of information exhibiting gas consumption slumped in Might to its lowest since final August. [nL3N2NR3BG
A surge in coronavirus instances and deaths in Might pressured most states to impose tight restrictions and lockdowns, slowing manufacturing facility exercise progress considerably and hindering mobility.
Oil merchandise’ imports slipped 26.2% to three.15 million tonnes on an annual foundation.
Exports have been little modified at 5.74 million tonnes in Might. Diesel accounted for a significant share of those exports at 2.95 million tonnes, surging 58% from the previous month.
“A number of states have been nonetheless below lockdown, which led to excessive gasoline and diesel exports,” mentioned Refinitiv analyst Ehsan Ul Haq, including that increased gas costs additionally restricted home consumption.
Haq mentioned that given the vaccine rollouts, refiners anticipated a quicker restoration this yr when in comparison with 2020 which was mirrored within the year-on-year enhance in crude imports.
Asia’s third-biggest economic system imports and exports refined fuels because it holds surplus refining capability.
(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; modifying by Louise Heavens and Jonathan Oatis)
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