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Oil Demand Recovery in Virus-Ravaged India Tough to Predict

  • Consumption hit less severe than 2020 but probably longer
  • Lack of federal government response complicating forecasts
Stores are closed during lockdown restrictions in Pune, Maharashtra, on May 5.
Stores are closed during lockdown restrictions in Pune, Maharashtra, on May 5.Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
Updated on

Indian energy demand is taking a big hit as Covid-19 runs rampant across the country. But uncertainty around when the virus wave will subside and the lack of a unified government response has left the oil industry in the dark as to how quickly consumption might pick up again.

The demand destruction over the last couple of months has been less severe than last year, when the government imposed the world’s biggest national lockdown. However, the lack of a coordinated effort to shut down activity to halt the virus’s spread will likely lead to a longer, although less pronounced, economic slump.