Russia becomes India’s second biggest oil supplier

Jun 14, 2022:  According to a report by Reuters, Russia rose to become India’s second biggest supplier of oil in May, pushing Saudi Arabia into third place but still behind Iraq which remains No. 1, data from trade sources showed.

In May Indian refiners received about 819,000 barrels per day (bpd) Russian oil, the highest thus far in any month, compared to about 277,00 in April, the data showed.

Western sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine prompted many oil importers to shun trade with Moscow, pushing spot prices for Russian crude to record discounts against other grades.

That provided Indian refiners, which rarely used to buy Russian oil due to high freight costs, an opportunity to snap up low-priced crude.

Russian grades accounted for about 16.5% of India’s overall oil imports in May, and helped raise the share of oil from the C.I.S. countries to about 20.5%, while that from the Middle East declined to about 59.5% %, the data showed.

India’s oil imports in May totalled 4.98 million bpd, the highest since December 2020, as state refiners raised output to meet growing local demand while private refiners turned focus to gain from exports, the data showed.

India’s oil imports in May were about 5.6% up from the previous month and about 19% from a year earlier, the data obtained from sources showed.

Higher oil imports from Russia, curbed OPEC’s share in India’s overall imports to 65% in April.

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