Crude oil processed by Indian refiners hit the highest in six months in September, in another sign that demand for fuel is recovering from the blow to economic activity and transportation from coronavirus restrictions.
Crude oil throughput in September rose 13.4% from the previous month to 4.33 million barrels per day (17.71 million tonnes). This was the highest since the onset of the country’s coronavirus restrictions in March, when refiners processed 5.01 million bpd of crude oil.
Fuel demand also rose for the first time since June last month, data showed earlier. October gasoil sales rose for the first time since March, preliminary data showed, signalling a pick-up in industrial activity ahead of key festivals.
“There have been some promising signs of recovery in India, which in recent years has been the second demand engine after China,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo. “Despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the removal of mobility restrictions has supported oil demand.”
India has reported a downward trend in coronavirus infections since hitting a single-day high of 97,894 new cases on Sept. 17, although it still remains the world’s second worst-affected country.