May 7, 2020 / 1:17 AM / 25 days ago

Australia's Viva Energy posts 75% fall in April jet fuel sales volumes on travel curbs

May 7 (Reuters) - Australia’s Viva Energy Group said on Thursday its jet fuel sales volumes slumped 75% in April, as restrictions on travel due to coronavirus lockdowns continued to sap demand.

The fuel supplier had warned last month that jet fuel sales could plunge up to 90% due to flight cancellations.

Australian refiners, along with their global peers, have been hit hard by plunging demand for transport fuels such as gasoline and jet fuel as measures to contain the viral outbreak have disrupted travel, businesses and industries.

Viva said it is continuing to take measures to reduce surplus production, primarily gasoline, in response to the lower fuel demand environment.

In line with this, a review of maintenance turnaround of key units at its Geelong refinery in Victoria is expected to be completed by end of June.

Viva said it had also adjusted its crude intake in April to further boost its margins, taking advantage of a plunge in oil prices and improved crude availability that resulted in lower premiums.

Last month, the company slashed its capital expenditure forecast for the year and deferred a share buyback. (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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