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India's Russian oil imports surge to 9-month high in April

21 May 2024 , 04:33 PM

According to news reports, India’s imports of Russian oil reached a nine-month high in April when shipments aboard non-sanctioned tankers run by Sovcomflot, Russia’s largest shipping business, restarted.

After Washington classified Sovcomflot’s ships and its fourteen tankers as violating Western sanctions in February, refiners in India temporarily ceased buying Russian oil in its tankers.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the West has placed sanctions on the country and set price limitations on oil and oil product loads into Russian ports in an effort to reduce Moscow’s oil revenue, which is used to finance the war.

Russia’s major customer for seaborne oil is India, which ranks third in the world both in terms of imports and consumption.

According to data, Indian refiners imported around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of Russian oil in April, the first month of the fiscal year 2024–2025. This represents an increase of 8.2% over the previous month and brings Russia’s share of the Indian market to almost 38% from 32%.

In April, India imported 4.8 million barrels of oil per day, which was slightly more than in April 2023 but a decrease of 6.5% over the previous month.

Russia remained India’s main oil supplier, with Saudi Arabia and Iraq coming in second.

Nonetheless, the statistics indicated that the overall amount of oil purchased by Indian refiners from Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the month was negatively impacted by increasing purchases of Russian oil, causing the share of Middle Eastern oil to drop to 41% from 46% in March.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ percentage of India’s crude basket fell to 46% in April from 53% in March due to a decrease in imports from the Middle East.

Increased purchases of Russian oil increased India’s imports of oil from the Commonwealth of Independent States, which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan, to 41% last month from 37% in March.

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Related Tags

  • crude oil
  • India
  • Middle East
  • Russia
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