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China’s Roads Are Bustling Again, But Covid Concerns Still Linger

  • Gasoline, diesel consumption at almost 90% of June 2019 rate
  • China sticking with Covid Zero approach to tame outbreaks
Heavy traffic conditions on a highway in Shanghai on June 22.
Heavy traffic conditions on a highway in Shanghai on June 22.Photographer: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
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China’s demand for gasoline and diesel is nearing a return to pre-virus levels as the nation cautiously emerges from strict virus lockdowns.

Overall consumption of the major transport fuels last month was at almost 90% of June 2019 levels, according to people with direct knowledge of the nation’s energy industry. Gasoline and diesel account for about half of China’s total oil demand, and fuel use has steadily recovered after crumbling in April.