India’s Fuel demand to return to normal by Mid of May as some steps are being taken to loosen this nationwide lockdown, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
India is the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer but there was a historic fall in the Fuel demand in April, due to COVID-19 lockdown.
However, since the last two weeks, there is an increase in demand, gradual but it is expected to move towards the normal position by the middle of May.
Falling fuel demand due to coronavirus pandemic has reduced crude production by refiners, Oil Minister who are facing storage problems at a time when lower cracks in overseas markets have made exports unattractive.
Oil Minister Pradhan said the fall in global oil prices, together with falling fuel demand, would lead to inventory losses for refiners. Refiners had to delay some oil cargoes due to the fall in local demand, he added.
“Our refiners are facing severe inventory loss because of all of our purchases from February, March, and April, prices are not what they are today. So we have to pay for the whole price. It’s a double burden. There are a market loss and an inventory loss for our oil companies,” he said.
Reliance Industries Ltd is the world’s biggest refining complex suffered its worst profit in 11 years due to uncertainty in the global oil prices.