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Covid Zero Throttles Chinese Oil Demand Before Key Congress

  • Virus flareups hobble demand for transport fuels like diesel
  • Residents forced to contend with uncertainty around travel
 

Near-empty streets after city-wide lockdown in Chengdu, on Sept. 1.

 

Near-empty streets after city-wide lockdown in Chengdu, on Sept. 1.

Photographer: -/AFP/Getty Images
Updated on

China’s oil markets are bracing for a rocky few weeks as the government enforces some of the strictest curbs on its citizens since the pandemic began.

As many as 65 million people across the country are now subject to restrictions on their mobility. Events from an annual financial forum in Shanghai to Asia’s biggest pet fair in Shenzhen have been postponed or canceled. Every lockdown of a home or place of work, disrupted holiday or delayed business trip means a lower requirement for fuel. In short, the longer China persists with its Covid Zero policy, the less oil it needs.