MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corp Ltd's (IOC) refineries are operating at about 95% of their capacity, down from 100% at the same time last month, reported Reuters with reference to source's statement.
Coronavirus cases have surged in India, leading to curbs on movement across the country, a move analysts say could hit fuel demand in the world's third largest oil importer and consumer.
An official at IOC, India's biggest oil refiner, said the cuts in runs at its refineries were "marginal" but analysts and industry officials say there could deeper reductions in output from the country's refineries in coming days.
"If cases continue to rise and curbs continue or intensify for a longer period, we may see cuts in refinery runs and lower demand after a month," an industry source said. Consultancy FGE said it estimates gasoline demand will drop by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in April and by more than 170,000 bpd in May if further restrictions are imposed. India's total gasoline sales came to nearly 747,000 bpd in March.
Diesel demand is expected to contract by 220,000 bpd in April and by another 400,000 bpd in May, according to FGE.
India's diesel consumption, a key indicator linked to economic growth and which accounts for about 40% of overall refined fuel sales in India, was 1.75 million bpd in April.
While curbs to restrict movement are in place in many parts of India, it has not imposed a total shutdown as it did in March last year. Most businesses are still operating normally.
As MRC informed before, Indian Oil has just announced plans to expand the capacity of its refinery at Panipat, India, from 15 million metric tons/year (MMt/y), to 25 MMt/y. The company will also build a polypropylene (PP) unit and a catalytic dewaxing unit at the site. The cost of the project is 329.46 billion Indian rupees (USD4.45 billion). The plan is the latest in a series of projects approved by Indian Oil to improve integration with petrochemicals at the company's refinery sites. The capacity of the planned PP facility has not been disclosed.
Ethylene and propylene are the mail feedstocks for production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated polyethylene (PE) consumption totalled 356,370 tonnes in the first two month of 2021, down by 9% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market was 246,870 tonnes in January-February 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.