India set to displace China as world's second largest oil consumer in 2019

As China's economic downturn set to continue, India likely to maintain steady growth

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File photo: Indian currency, gas station

File photo: Indian currency, gas station (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Current trends in the oil industry indicate that India is set to surpass China as the second largest consumer of oil imports in 2019, according to consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie.

India reportedly accounted for 14 percent of global oil demand last year, consuming 206.2 million tons for the fiscal year, making India the third largest purchaser of the commodity behind the U.S. and China.

The report indicates that India’s economy has continued to make a steady recovery following setbacks related to the introduction of the “Goods and Services Tax” and the government's “demonetization campaign” in recent years.

As China’s economic downturn is likely to continue, India can expect a busy year of maintained growth rates with some expected spikes in oil demand. With national elections approaching in May, greater movement of people is anticipated over the next few months, reports DNA India.

From April to December 2018, petroleum products consumed in India were measured at 157. 4 million tons, representing a 2.5 percent increase over the same period in 2017.

The Wood Mackenzie report was quoted by DNA India.

"We forecast oil demand to grow at the same level in 2019. This will result in India becoming the second largest demand growth center globally in 2019, behind the U.S. but ahead of China. Transport fuels gasoline and diesel and residential LPG will continue to be the two main drivers of oil demand growth."

OPEC has predicted that India’s oil consumption between now and 2040 will account for almost 40 percent of growth in global demand.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported this week that many observers and businesses are concerned that China’s precarious economic situation may undermine global demand for crude oil in 2019.