Demand in India for oleochemicals will remain stable amid soaring COVID-19 infections in the country, according to an Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS) report on 26 April.

ICIS said major home care manufacturers were likely to continue production despite renewed lockdown restrictions imposed as the country recorded 315,000 daily infections, according to The Guardian on 22 April.

“India is not in a good situation and the next two weeks are critical," a regional producer was quoted as saying.

"As of now, there are 3M vaccinations being given on a daily basis. All the major home care manufacturers remain unaffected as these factories are considered essential," the producer added.

If India shuts down, there could be an impact on palm oil consumption, according to another regional producer, with derivatives such as fatty acids, fatty alcohols and glycerine also potentially affected.

With a population of more than 1.3bn, India has reported more than 18.8M infections and 208,000 deaths as of 28 April, according to data from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Visual Dashboard operated by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE).

Hospitals, meanwhile, have been reporting a shortage of critical oxygen supply and other medicines, ICIS wrote.

Many sectors in India, including manufacturing, textiles, consumer durables, automobile, travel and hospitality, are facing disruption to business as more states impose curbs on public movement and transport, according to the report.

A number of countries were sending critical supplies to help support India’s health care system, ICIS wrote.