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LONDON - With more than 4 billion people living under some form of COVID-19 lockdown, countries around the world are reporting steep falls in fuel demand.
With most states having issued orders asking people to stay at home, gasoline demand over the last four weeks has dropped by 32% from the year-ago period, The Energy Information Administration said on April 15.
Demand for distillate products has held up better, falling only 8% over the most recent four-week period.
China's crude oil throughput in March sank to a 15-month low of around 11.98 million barrels per day, down 4.6% from a year earlier, National Bureau of Statistics data shows.
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), Asia's top oil and gas firm, said on March 19 that its refined oil sales in February fell 45% year-on-year.
CNPC's research arm forecasts Chinese refined oil consumption, including diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, will rise in March by 41% on an average daily consumption basis from February, reaching a monthly total of 21.19 million tonnes.
But, March consumption would still be 19.1% lower than a year earlier, and April consumption will remain lower.
Diesel consumption, which normally accounts for two-fifths of overall refined fuel consumption, declined 24.2% in March from a year earlier, its deepest decline since April 1998, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed.
PPAC do not provide monthly growth numbers for before April 1998.
Sales of gasoline, or petrol, fell by 16.4% from a year earlier, the worst slide since March 1999, the data showed.
Jet fuel consumption declined by 32.4% as the lockdown hit air travel.
However, cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales rose about 1.9% to 2.31 million tonnes and naphtha sales rose 15.7% to 1.39 million tonnes.
India extended a lockdown of its 1.3 billion people until at least May 3 on Tuesday.
Gasoline consumption fell 80% year-on-year in the last 10 days of March, according to industry body Comite Professionel du Petrole (CPDP).
Diesel consumption contracted 75% over the same period.
This brought the overall fall in March to 22% for gasoline consumption and 26% for diesel.
On April 13 France extended the lockdown of its 67 million population which began on March 17 until May 11.
Gasoline sales on April 5-12 were 84% lower than in the March 8-14 week, data from the Energy and Environment Ministry showed.
Government data showed diesel and kerosene sales fell 62% and 93% respectively, during the week ending April 12, while fuel oil purchases dropped by 20%.
Madrid confined most people almost entirely to their homes on March 14, and mothballed the economy for two weeks in early April.
Domestic oil product sales last month fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier to 3.09 million barrels per day bpd), with kerosene sales down 7.6 percent, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) data showed.
(Compiled by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)