How oil demand has fallen around the world

US oil demand has now fallen to 14.4 million barrels per day, the lowest since 1990. PHOTO: REUTERS

Global oil demand is being destroyed as the coronavirus forces people around the world to remain indoors and avoid travel.

Currently, between a third and half of the world's population are in lockdown, meaning few people are driving, flying or doing much that would require the use of crude or its derivatives.

Here is how oil consumption has been affected in various countries.


US oil demand has now fallen to 14.4 million barrels per day (bpd), the lowest in data going back to 1990 and a drop of more than 30 per cent from pre-crisis levels, government figures showed on Wednesday.

In its short-term outlook, the Energy Information Administration forecast the hit to oil demand will be 16.7 million bpd this month.

A number of American refiners, including HollyFrontier and Marathon Petroleum, cut run rates by 30 per cent.


Crude demand in the world's third-biggest consumer has collapsed by as much as 70 per cent as India endures the planet's largest national lockdown, according to officials at Indian refiners.

Consumption for the entire month could average about 50 per cent below last year's levels but that is based on India's three-week lockdown ending on April 15 as planned, according to the officials. That is 3.1 million bpd of lost oil demand, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


Oil refineries in China, the world's biggest crude importer, may increase processing rates to near last year's average levels this month, providing a glimmer of hope to a global market reeling from the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, processing at private refiners will continue to ramp up with some idled plants set to resume this month, Chinese industry researcher SCI99 said.


Oil product demand fell by 23 per cent last month in one of the countries hit worst by Covid-19.

Air and road fuel consumption were the most affected, with petrol and diesel falling by 35.5 per cent and 26.5 per cent, respectively.

Demand for kerosene, predominantly consumed in the aviation sector, fell 42.5 per cent as aircraft remained grounded across much of the country.

Spain has extended its lockdown until April 25.


Sales of petrol and diesel in the UK were down 66 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively, as of March 31, according to the UK Petrol Retailers Association.

Britain's top supermarket, Tesco, said petrol sales were down "70 per cent over the last weeks" following the country's lockdown.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2020, with the headline How oil demand has fallen around the world. Subscribe