As the second wave of the coronavirus batters India, petroleum products usage, and by extension crude consumption, are expected to take a downward, albeit short-term, hit.
At the start of May, the country was recording nearly 4 lakh new cases a day, with the 7-day moving average consistantly hovering above the 3.5 lakh per day mark. The associated death toll of nearly 3,500 covid related fatalities has not only deeply impacted the psyche of the nation, but the gory images of suffering being aired constantly in the media have compelled average Indians to largely stay put at home.
With citizens making a concerted effort to not venture outside, work from home and step out for basic necessities only when needed, vehicular traffic on roads is seen to be considerably thinner and non-essential vehicle runs have noticeably dropped – the average road traffic congestion is expected to be down 20-25 per cent from the normal peak levels historically seen around this time of the year.
This fall in traffic volumes is, however, not as pronounced as was witnessed during April and May last year – average traffic density in Mumbai during the pre-pandemic times in 2019 ranged from 60-80 per cent in the morning rush hour (between 8 am and 10 am)