By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – At least two Indian refiners have curbed oil imports from key Middle East producers, including Saudi Arabia, for May due to storage constraints as local fuel demand slumped following the coronavirus outbreak, company officials said.

This is the second consecutive month that Indian refiners have sharply cut imports of term crude supplies as space to store excess oil ran out and as stay-home measures to curb the spread of the virus slashed fuel demand.

One refiner has cut purchases from Saudi Arabia by about 80%, while the other will take 66% less oil in May compared with their average monthly purchases from the country, the officials said.

For crude supplied by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, one refiner will be taking just one cargo in May instead of an average two each month while the second refiner will be receiving some of the deferred cargoes from April and has nominated only one cargo for May, the officials said.

The two Indian companies will take around 75% less crude from Kuwait in May from their average monthly purchases, the said.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma, editing by Louise Heavens)