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Oil demand in the world’s third-biggest market has crashed in recent months due to the nationwide lockdown enforced by the world’s second-most populous country to contain the coronavirus outbreak and is unlikely to see a full recovery until the end of 2020, according to executives of the country’s state-owned fuel retailers.

Key points 

India’s fuel consumption collapsed by as much as 70% in April.  It’s now running at about 40% below last year’s levels. 

“Demand is reaching 60% to 70% of normal, but it will take some time to get to pre-coronavirus sales,” said Mukesh Kumar Surana, chairman of Hindustan Petroleum Corp. 

“Over a period of two to three months, we should get back to 80% of normal sales. Beyond that, it will be slow,” added Surana. 

Oil prices crashed in April as the coronavirus-induced lockdowns in major European economies, the US, and India led to a massive build of inventories in the US and across the globe. Most nations are now looking to reopen their economies, although investors are worried that it may lead to second wave of the coronavirus disease.