Crude import falls 36%
India’s crude oil imports fell in July to their lowest since March 2010 as fuel demand slowed.
Crude oil imports last month slumped about 36.4 per cent from a year earlier to 12.34 million tonnes, or 2.92 million barrels per day, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the ministry of petroleum & natural gas showed.
The lower import marked a fourth straight monthly decline. Fuel demand in the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer also fell, posting a fifth consecutive year-on-year drop.
Analysts said state-run refiners, which control around 65 per cent of the refining capacity, have been forced to run at around 75 per cent of their capacity during the nationwide lockdown. Monsoon in several parts of the country also eroded some demand.
The consumption of petroleum products in July 2020 fell 11.7 per cent compared with July 2019 as volumes dropped to 15.7 mt in July 2020 from 17.7 mt in July 2019. Consumption between April and July 2020 contracted 22.5 per cent compared with the same period a year ago.
Data showed that crude oil imports decreased 23.6 per cent during April-July 2020 compared with the corresponding previous period.
“Lower economic growth means less demand for imports, which is already visible in our trade numbers,” analysts said.
Refined product imports surged 46.4 per cent to 4.07 million tonnes year-on-year, mainly due to a sharp jump in fuel oil imports.