Taiwan has garnered wide praise internationally for its success in defeating Covid-19. Despite being the first territory outside China to report infections, it has seen just seven deaths. But given Taiwan’s success on this front, its import stats, the first full first half 2020 figures for any major importer, suggest the world is in for a long slog in terms of the rebound of oil demand from Covid-19.

At an average of 790,000 b/d for the first half of 2020, volumes are down almost 14% year on year (see table), putting the country on pace for the lowest annual figure since 2011. And the most recent data show no sign of an upturn. On the contrary, average Q2 volumes of 722,000 b/d were down a further 16% (136,000 b/d) on Q1 for the lowest quarterly figure in the MEES database stretching back to 2003, and likely many years before that. At just 621,000 b/d for June, imports were at a 16-month low. (CONTINUED - 469 WORDS)