A technician is pictured inside a desalter plant of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on the outskirts of Ahmedabad

A technician is pictured inside a desalter plant of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Amit Dave Acquire Licensing Rights

LONDON, Aug 24 (Reuters) – India’s petroleum consumption increased to a record high in the first seven months of 2023 but growth has slowed markedly as the rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns is completed.

The economy is being hit by the same combination of rapid inflation and slowing global trade that has hit other major economies across South and East Asia.

Petroleum consumption increased to 135 million metric tons in the first seven months of 2023 from 128 million metric tons in the same period in 2022.

The increase in the first seven months was equivalent to roughly 255,000 barrels per day (bpd), down from growth of 415,000 bpd in 2021/22.

Chartbook: India’s petroleum consumption

Oil consumption growth of roughly 5% to 6% per year is consistent with the same reported growth in manufacturing output.

But it compares with growth of more than 1.0 million bpd in U.S. oil production in the first five months of 2023.

It has not been fast enough to absorb the extra crude and tighten the global market at a time when consumption has been depressed in North America, Europe and China.

The relatively sluggish growth in India’s consumption has therefore added to downward pressure on crude petroleum prices so far in 2023.

John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.

Reporting by John Kemp; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the Trust Principles, is committed to integrity, independence, and freedom from bias.

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John Kemp is a senior market analyst specializing in oil and energy systems. Before joining Reuters in 2008, he was a trading analyst at Sempra Commodities, now part of JPMorgan, and an economic analyst at Oxford Analytica. His interests include all aspects of energy technology, history, diplomacy, derivative markets, risk management, policy and transitions.

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