Demand for Gasoline to Decline in India with the Massive Surge in COVID-19 Cases
The gasoline industry in India is again witnessing a major setback with another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic after having not recovered from the first wave of coronavirus. With the second wave having an even bigger and worse effect throughout the country, lockdowns have been imposed across various states, especially Maharashtra and Delhi, which have become the most severely affected states in the past month with the huge rise in the number of positive cases as well as resulting death toll.
Lockdown restrictions have been placed in Maharashtra from 14th April to 1st May as a measure to curb the COVID-19 cases in the region. With the rapid rise in cases in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also imposed a lockdown in Delhi since 17th April since the COVID-19 cases in the region reached their peak. India reported about 273,810 new cases of COVID-19 on 19th April 2021, a record high, and the number has been constantly rising.
Maharashtra, which is a severely affected state, has also been a centre for gasoline demand and witnessed the demand for the product plummet to 70% below baseline levels as of 10th April 2021, which is the lowest since July 2020 and witnessed a sharp decline than the 40% above baseline levels that was seen in early February 2021.
Delhi, where the cases are rising at a rapid rate every day, the gasoline driving activity is recorded at 10% above baseline levels as of 10th April, which although higher than the 20% below baseline levels recorded in early April, still represented an overall fall in demand from February's level of 70% above baseline levels, as per Apple mobility data.
The reducing gasoline activity in India has led to reduced gasoline demand, which is estimated to fall to 701,000 barrels per day in April, down around 11.51% from the previous month and is likely to witness recovery only from June onwards.
The situation has severely impacted the industry as various industries are shutting down again as a part of lockdown, along with the shortage of labour across the country. The industry, which had already not recovered from the first wave, has been hit by another stronger wave of the coronavirus this year.