India’s oil import from Russia rose to 42 percent in May
The amount of cheap oil India is importing from Russia continues to increase. According to the Vortexa report, this quantity reached a record high in the month of May, and imported oil from Russia is now more than the combined oil bought from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE, and the US.
India took 1.96 million barrels a day from Russia in May, 15% more than the previous high in April, energy cargo tracker Vortexa has said. Russia now accounts for 42% of all the crude oil India imports.
The rise in Russia’s share comes with a corresponding decrease in the share of other Middle Eastern countries’ oil exports to India. “Shipments from Saudi Arabia slipped to 560,000 tonnes – the lowest since February 2021,” the report said, adding, “Oil producers cartel OPEC’s share in India’s oil imports fell to an all-time low of 39 percent in May.”
As has been reported, most of the Russian crude imports are going to private-sector refiners such as Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries and Russian state-run oil giant Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy. These refineries accounted for almost 46% of Indian crude imports from Russia in April.
The discounted Russian oil has helped India meet the growing demand for petroleum products, with 222.30 million tonnes of petroleum products consumed in FY23, 10.2% higher than the year before. However, the government has not passed the benefits of cheap crude prices to consumers as pump prices have remained unchanged since April 2022.
Indian refiners in the past rarely bought Russian oil because of high freight costs, but they are now snatching up plentiful Russian cargoes, available at a discount compared to other grades, as some Western countries object to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Because of this, it was rejected.
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