The processing of crude from Indian refiners in June hampered by viruses
- June Indian Refinery Processing Still Up 4.7% YoY
- Refinery capacity utilization rate falls to its lowest level in 8 months in June
July 23 (Reuters) – Indian refiners’ crude throughput in June was little changed from the previous month when it fell to multi-month lows as a severe second wave of coronavirus restricted demand, forcing refiners to reduce cycles.
Refiners processed 4.50 million barrels per day (18.4 million tonnes) of crude oil in June, provisional government data showed on Friday. This compares to 4.49 million barrels per day (bpd) processed in May, which was the lowest since October 2020.
Imports of crude oil also fell to their lowest level in nine months in June, as refiners cut back on purchases due to increased fuel inventories due to low consumption and renewed blockages during the two previous months, showed data obtained from commercial sources. Read more
Last month, refinery crude oil throughput was still 4.7% above June 2020 levels.
India’s fuel demand also edged up after falling to a nine-month low in May, as many states of the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer began to ease restrictions and mobility a taken back.
Gasoline sales by fuel retailers in Indian states also exceeded pre-pandemic levels during the first half of July, preliminary industry data showed last week. Read more
“With further easing of mobility restrictions likely, I would expect demand for oil to pick up further, leading to higher processing rates for refineries on the road,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo .
Indian refiners operated at an average rate of 89.59% of capacity in June, up from 92.37% of capacity in May, according to government data.
The nation’s largest refiner, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) (IOC.NS), last month operated its directly owned factories at 93.53% of its capacity, the data showed.
Reliance, owner of the world’s largest refining complex, operated its factories at 93.12% of capacity in June.
Natural gas production increased 19.5% to 2.78 billion cubic meters, while crude oil production declined nearly 2% to 606,000 barrels per day (2.48 million tonnes), according to data from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Report by Swati Verma in Bangalore; Editing by Joe Bavier
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