The United States and Canada accounted for 11 percent of India’s crude oil imports in January—a record-high share of North American crude for the world’s third-largest oil importer, Reuters reported on Monday, citing data obtained from trade sources.
India’s total crude oil imports last month averaged around 4.8 million barrels per day (bpd), down from a three-year high in December, but slightly up compared to January last year.
In December 2020, India’s crude oil imports were estimated to have jumped by 29 percent compared to November and by 11.6 percent compared to December 2019, to more than 5 million bpd. This was the highest import level in almost three years.
In January, India’s imports eased from December, but demand for crude oil from the United States and Canada increased as gasoline demand rebounded.
According to Reuters estimates, India’s imports from the United States nearly doubled month over month to 367,000 bpd in January, making the U.S. India’s fourth-largest supplier of crude oil after Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Imports from Canada also doubled to 142,000 bpd.
At the same time, the share of the Middle East in India’s imports dropped to 61 percent—the lowest level in eight months, due to reduced supplies out of the two top suppliers, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which have limited some exports as part of the OPEC+ pact.
India, which relies on imports for around 80 percent of its oil consumption, is seeking to diversify purchases as much as possible to take advantage of lower prices from some regions.
In recent months, India has been sourcing more and more oil in spot deals with exporters outside of the Middle East after the biggest OPEC producers have tightened global crude supply as part of the OPEC+ pact. Indian refiners have boosted imports from exporters such as the United States and West African OPEC producer Nigeria, which sell lighter crude grades yielding more gasoline, according to Bloomberg data.
Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com
Canada to receive 6.5 million Covid-19 vaccines by end of March – CNN
New variants spreading
Ontario activates 'emergency brake' in Thunder Bay, Simcoe-Muskoka as York readies to administer vaccines – CBC.ca
Ontario announced Friday afternoon that it is activating an “emergency brake” in Thunder Bay and Simcoe-Muskoka, sending the regions back into lockdown to “immediately interrupt transmission and contain community spread.”
The two regions will move into the grey lockdown level of Ontario’s COVID-19 restriction plan effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 1.
“This is due to a rapid worsening in key public health indicators, as well as a high presence of variants in the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit that continue to increase — the highest in the province. As of February 23, 2021, there has been a total of 170 confirmed cases of a variant of concern in this region,” the province said in a news release.
Seven other regions will also be moving into new levels at the same time. They include:
- Red-control: Niagara Region Public Health.
- Orange-restrict: Chatham-Kent Public Health; Middlesex-London Health Unit; and Southwestern Public Health.
- Yellow-protect: Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit; and Huron Perth Public Health.
- Green-prevent: Grey Bruce Health Unit.
Toronto, Peel and North Bay Parry Sound will remain under a stay-at-home order until at least Monday, March 8.
All other regions will remain in their current level for now, the province said.
1,258 new cases — the most in nearly 2 weeks
Ontario reported another 1,258 cases of COVID-19 on Friday — the most on a single day in nearly two weeks — as officials hailed Health Canada’s approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a “huge deal” for the province’s immunization effort.
The new cases include 362 in Toronto, 274 in Peel Region and 104 in York Region.
York Region announced Friday it is ready to vaccinate residents 80 years of age and older by appointment. Eligible residents can book appointments online beginning Monday, March 1 at 8 a.m.
The region will administer vaccines at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital in Vaughan, Cornell Community Centre in Markham and Ray Twinney Recreation Complex in Newmarket.
“This is a very positive step forward. We are moving aggressively to vaccinate as many as possible within the province’s identified priority populations as vaccine supply becomes available,” said Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s medical officer of health.
“We are being as nimble as we can using different delivery models depending on the supplies of vaccines and the groups we need to immunize.”
Other public health units that saw double-digit increases include:
- Waterloo Region: 69
- Hamilton: 64
- Ottawa: 52
- Durham Region: 42
- Thunder Bay: 42
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 35
- Halton Region: 32
- Windsor-Essex: 31
- Simcoe Muskoka: 25
- Niagara Region: 19
- Brant County: 17
- Eastern Ontario: 11
- Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge: 10
- Renfrew County: 10
(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard or in its Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit on a given day, because local units report figures at different times.)
Ontario’s lab network completed 64,049 tests for SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and logged a test positivity rate of 2.3 per cent.
The seven-day average of daily cases climbed to 1,114, marking a sixth straight day of increases.
The Ministry of Education also reported 101 school-related cases: 89 students and 12 staff members. There are currently 18 schools closed due to the illness, about 0.4 per cent of those in the province.
According to the Ministry of Health, there has been a total of 477 cases caused by a virus variant first identified in the United Kingdom, 28 more than in yesterday’s update. Another 14 cases have been linked to a variant first found in South Africa, up three from yesterday, and two total cases have screened positive for the variant identified in Brazil.
Variants of concern continue to spread quickly in Ontario, updated modelling presented yesterday shows, and are projected to likely make up 40 per cent of the province’s cases by the second week of March.
Ontario’s COVID-19 science table said the next few weeks will be “critical” for understanding the impact of these variants, and that there “is a period of remaining risk” before the pandemic likely hits a lull in the summer months.
Meanwhile, public health units recorded the deaths of 28 more people with the illness, bringing Ontario’s official toll to 6,944.
AstraZeneca approval could accelerate vaccines rollout
The news comes as Health Canada gave a green light for use of a third COVID-19 vaccine.
“Basically it means we can accelerate our vaccine programs from coast to coast. It also means we have a much more versatile vaccine,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease physician based in Toronto.
The AstraZeneca vaccine only requires conventional refrigeration and is relatively stable, Bogoch added, meaning it could be a prime candidate for immunization efforts by primary care providers and mobile clinics.
“Of course there’s still a lot of questions about who will have access to it, when we’re going to get it, through which route we’ll get it. But at the end of the day, we have access to more vaccine than we thought,” Bogoch told CBC’s News Network.
WATCH | Task force member on how AstraZeneca vaccine could be used:
Ontario’s immunization strategy has been the focus of scrutiny this week, after the task force announced that an online portal for booking appointments wouldn’t be operational until mid-March — weeks after several other provinces. Furthermore, the co-chair of the task force, retired general Rick Hillier, wouldn’t offer specifics on when people under 60 years old (who are not essential workers) might expect to get their first dose of a vaccine.
Some jurisdictions, notably France, have restricted the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under the age of 65 despite the World Health Organization’s insistence that the product is safe and effective for all age groups.
Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for Canadians aged 18 and older, and said it has an efficacy rate of about 62.1 per cent.
While the efficacy rate is important, Bogoch said, more crucial is the vaccine’s ability to significantly reduce the probability of a severe COVID-19 infection and hospitalization in those who receive it.
Record-high shots given out yesterday
Speaking to CBC Radio’s Metro Morning today, Hillier called the approval “wonderful news” but cautioned that provincial officials will need to wait for more instructions from Health Canada before they can say definitely how it will change Ontario’s rollout plan.
“It’s a third weapon in the fight against COVID-19,” Hillier said, alluding to the two other vaccines — manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna — currently being administered in Canada.
The federal government has secured access to 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The province said it administered 21,805 doses of vaccines yesterday, a new single-day high. A total of 258,014 people have received both doses of a vaccine.
Prioritize vaccine rollout by age and neighbourhood, experts say
The science advisory table says that prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations on both age and neighbourhood could prevent thousands of cases and reduce the number of deaths linked to the illness moving forward.
The group detailed its advice in a new report released today.
The table said the pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on older adults and residents of lower income and racialized neighbourhoods, mainly in urban centres.
Targeting those residents for vaccination first could minimize deaths, illness and hospitalizations across Ontario, the report suggested.
Implementing the strategy would not interfere with the ongoing vaccine rollout, but could instead help guide the upcoming mass distribution of shots to the general population, it continued.
Canada announces partnership with India-based company to secure more AstraZeneca jabs – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, February 26, 2021 12:31PM EST
Canada’s vaccine rollout received a boost Friday with the approval of a third COVID-19 inoculation, giving the country another immunization option at a time when case counts remain nearly 75 per cent higher than they were at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic.
Health Canada approved its third COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, this time from AstraZeneca, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an additional partnership with an India-based institute that will deliver two million more doses of the newly authorized jab to Canadians by the spring.
While numbers of cases and hospitalizations have dropped from all-time highs just weeks ago, variants of concern are rising in parts of the country.
Canada’s top doctor Theresa Tam said Friday the country had 964 reported cases of the variant first detected in the U.K., up from 429 reported two weeks ago. There were also 44 cases of the variant first discovered in South Africa, and two cases of the version first found in Brazil.
“The risk of rapid re-acceleration remains,” Tam said. “At the same time new variants continue to emerge … and can become predominant.”
Tam added that daily COVID-19 case counts are nearly 75 per cent higher than they were last spring, and that the average daily case counts in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia have increased between eight and 14 per cent over the previous week.
As of Thursday evening, federal data shows there have been 858,217 COVID-19 cases in Canada, including 21,865 deaths, since the beginning of the pandemic.
Tam warned that COVID-19 variants can still emerge and those that spread more quickly can become dominant.
However, progress on the vaccine front is a source of optimism, Tam noted.
“To date, over 1.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Canada. And there are early indications of high vaccine efficacy.”
Canada’s partnership with Mississauga, Ont.’s Verity Pharmaceuticals and the Serum Institute of India means the country is set to receive two million doses of the CoviShield vaccine – essentially the same as AstraZeneca’s product. Trudeau said the first shipment of half a million doses will arrive by March.
Those two million incoming doses of CoviShield are in addition to the 20 million doses Canada already secured with AstraZeneca that will start arriving in the spring.
Health Canada’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma said in a briefing Friday that the CoviShield and AstraZeneca products are “for all intents and purposes” the same vaccine.
The difference is in where they are manufactured, she said, using the analogy of the same recipe made in two different kitchens.
Trudeau said as vaccinations ramp up across the country, many provinces have expanded the number of health professions able to administer a COVID-19 vaccine, and he asked for dentists, midwives, pharmacy technicians and retired nurses to lend a hand in the rollout.
“Job 1 remains beating this pandemic,” Trudeau said, adding that the federal government will continue to send rapid tests to provinces in hopes of getting more Canadians tested.
“We still have to be very careful, especially with new variants out there. We all want to start the spring in the best shape possible.”
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, added that the country’s vaccine rollout will be just one method in slowing the spread of new variants and avoiding a third wave.
He said public health measures aimed at halting transmission such as physical distancing and limiting contacts remain important.
Experts advising the Ontario government said this week more contagious variants of COVID-19 are expected to make up 40 per cent of cases by the second week of March.
Ontario reported 1,258 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with 362 of them in Toronto, 274 in Peel Region and 104 in York Region. There were also 28 more deaths linked to the virus in the province since the last daily update.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2021.
'Good to go': Canadian pharmacies ready for next phase of vaccine rollout – CTV News
NFL denies report on media rights deal with Disney – Toronto Sun
Toronto Maple Leafs head west with injury issues – TSN
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Galaxy M31 July 2020 security update brings Glance, a content-driven lockscreen wallpaper service
Real eState7 hours ago
B.C. real estate industry braces for postpandemic immigration boom – The Globe and Mail
Health16 hours ago
Canada sees good news about COVID-19 inoculations as doses arrive more quickly
Economy16 hours ago
Canada’s finance ministry calls report of CPPIB CEO’s overseas trip for COVID shot ‘very troubling’
Business18 hours ago
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce profit beats estimates on capital market strength
Real eState18 hours ago
RBC Adds Two “Severe” Risk Scenarios, Including Canadian Real Estate
Health10 hours ago
CPPIB CEO Mark Machin steps down after getting COVID-19 vaccine in UAE – Global News
Media19 hours ago
Information posted on Chinese social media platforms could be used for 'hostile activities,' Bill Blair warns – National Post
Sports16 hours ago
In Flames’ loss to Senators, self-inflicted pains push Calgary to new lows – Sportsnet.ca