India”s fuel demand may take 6-9 months to reach normal levels: IOC

India”s fuel demand may take 6 to 9 months to rebound to normal levels as several states impose lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Director-Finance S K Gupta said on Tuesday.

Fuel sales had fallen by a record 45.8 per cent in April when a nationwide lockdown was in place to check the coronavirus infections. Lockdown restrictions have been progressively eased beginning May but now several states are imposing lockdown to curb record daily infection rates.

Speaking at an investor call on first-quarter earnings, Gupta said it was difficult to predict the demand recovery rate given the rising infections in India and around the world.

“It may take 6 to 9 months to return to normal,” he said.

After making a smart recovery in May, fuel sales have dipped from the second-half of June.

Diesel, which accounts for two-fifths of the overall petroleum product demand in India, fell 13 per cent to 4.85 million tonne in July from the previous month and by about 21 per cent from a year earlier, according to provisional PSU sales data.

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