On the Russia-Ukraine crisis, western countries are continuously pressurising not to do business with Russia, but India is continuously increasing its purchase of oil from Russia
According to energy cargo tracker Vortex, Russian oil imports into India in September rose by 18.5 per cent after falling for two months from August. Due to this it has become the second largest supplier of crude oil to the country after Saudi Arabia.
On the Russia-Ukraine crisis, western countries are continuously pressurising not to do business with Russia, but India is continuously increasing its purchase of oil from Russia. In the past, western countries had said that it was because of India and China that the sanctions have not affected Russia.
Figures show that Russian oil imports at 879,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September are the second highest in a month for India after June’s 933,000 bpd. According to the Economic Times report, India may consider importing more Russian crude this quarter, as refiners accelerate to meet the seasonal increase in domestic demand and higher export demand from Europe.
Before the start of the Ukraine war Russian oil comprised about 1 per cent of India’s imports as freight traffic made it uncompetitive, but has now climbed to 21 per cent. Indian refiners’ attraction to Russian crude increased after the start of the Ukraine War. This is because traders offered higher discounts, which have come to around USD 5-6 per barrel on a delivery basis.
Rising Russian imports mean a loss of market share for other major exporters such as the US, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. According to the report, in September, Saudi Arabia was the top supplier to India while Iraq and the United Arab Emirates were ranked third and fourth respectively.
The US, the fifth largest supplier, now accounts for about 4 per cent of the Indian market, down from 10 per cent a year ago. India has also increased purchases of Russian products, with fuel oil imports approaching 100,000 barrels per day in September, up from an average of about 60,000 bpd in the first quarter of 2022. The country has also received its first 90,000 tonne of Russian.
Chinese imports of marine Russian crude rose 7 per cent month-on-month to 1 million barrels per day, while European imports rose 16 per cent to 950,000 bpd. Maritime Russian crude oil imports to Europe have halved since the beginning of the year. China and Europe import a large amount of Russian crude oil through pipelines. Russia’s share in the Indian crude oil market may increase further if the European Union keeps its promise to ban imports of Russian crude oil from December.