June 26, 2020 / 2:18 PM / 8 days ago

German oil imports fell 11.3% in April at height of lockdown

FRANKFURT, June 26 (Reuters) - German crude oil imports fell by 11.3% at the height of lockdown restrictions in April, while Jan-April imports were only 0.1% down from the same 2019 period, official data showed on Friday.

Volumes reaching Germany in April were 6.9 million tonnes and those over the four months totalled 28.1 million tonnes, monthly statistics issued by the BAFA foreign trade office showed.

Russia accounted for 37.8% of Germany’s oil receipts in the four months, followed by 22.0% from the British and Norwegian North Sea, while imports from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) contributed 17.1%.

Other sources, including the United States, provided the rest.

Germany spent 8.8 billion euros ($9.88 billion) on crude imports in Jan-April, 26.7% less than a year earlier when market prices were much higher, BAFA said.

Average prices paid on the border in the four-months period under review fell 26.5% to 314.29 euros per tonne.

Imposed from mid-March, the German lockdown restrictions were gradually lifted from late April, but disruptions and uncertainty continue to weigh on business activity, subduing fuel use.

The government expects the economy to shrink by 6.3% this year, which would be the steepest contraction since the end of World War II. ($1 = 0.8911 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Barbara Lewis)

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