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KAPSARC assesses impact of COVID-19 on transport and gasoline
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 06 - 2020

The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) assessed the impact of COVID-19 on transport and gasoline demand, and its role in reducing gasoline prices in Saudi Arabia, issued recently by the center in two Instant Insight publications.
In these publications, the center explores how a pandemic can change the entire transport sector, and how to help policymakers mitigate the negative impacts of the crisis.
The paper entitled "The Impact of COVID-19 on Transport and Gasoline Demand" revealed that the transport sector demand has declined globally by at least 50%, due to the closures that the world has witnessed, in order to reduce the spread of the pandemic.
Apple Maps Mobility Trends Reports showed a decrease in public transport demand globally by 75% to 80%.
KAPSARC's study predicted that the corona pandemic will change the entire transport sector and passenger transport methods in particular, such as imposing new procedures for the number of people allowed to enter public transport areas, and the possibility of suspending the options of sharing trips in mobility applications, in addition to the adjustments made to taxis, such as putting a movable barrier to separate drivers and passengers.
The paper emphasized the crucial role of the digital economy in mitigating the impacts of this crisis, as policymakers can benefit from digital technologies and solutions to help the most vulnerable companies, whose situations are likely to be more difficult.
In another Instant Insight, KAPSARC attributed the decrease in gasoline prices in the Kingdom last month to the decline in global economic activity, due to the spread of COVID-19, and the significant decrease in global demand for petroleum products.
The paper entitled "Why Did Domestic Gasoline Prices Fall in Saudi Arabia?" showed that local gasoline prices in the Kingdom are in line with global prices, which was the reason for the slight increase with the start of mitigating the closures to decrease the spread of COVID-19, and the return of economic activities to normality.
Through Instant Insights, KAPSARC seeks to analyze the current issues and important topics in the fields of economics, energy, and environment locally and globally, and help decision-makers in assessing their impacts on the macroeconomic and global markets.
The center made progress in the list of the best research centers regionally and globally, as it jumped 14 ranks in the ranking of the Middle East and North Africa research centers. It ranked 15th out of 103 research centers regionally, and 13th out of 60 research centers specializing in energy policy globally. — SG


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