India’s Brutal Covid Wave Hammers Fuel Sales as Lockdowns Spread

  • Indian fuel sales declined in the first half of Apr 21 as a deadly second wave of Covid-19 led to renewed lockdowns and crippled demand.
  • Sales of everything from diesel to cooking fuels dropped during 1-15 Apr 21 from the previous month, according to people familiar with preliminary data from the country’s three biggest retailers. Even gasoline fell by about 5% — a product that recovered strongly during the pandemic as people favored their own cars over public transport to avoid being infected by the coronavirus.
  • India has been forced to renew restrictions and localized lockdowns as the aggressive new wave leads to record daily infections and hospitals struggling to cope with the surge.
  • The worst might not be over for fuel demand, with officials at the state-run retailers predicting a further impact due to the renewed restrictions.
  • On a monthly basis, fuels across the spectrum declined with diesel (-2.8%), gasoline (-5.2%), LPG (-6.4%) and jet (-7.6%) falling m/m.

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