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Russia jumps to fourth position as oil supplier to India


© Reuters. An Indian boy is seen walking past an oil tanker train that was stationed at Ghaziabad railway station. It’s located on the outskirts New Delhi. February 1, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI, (Reuters) – Russia was India’s fourth largest oil supplier in April. Volumes are expected to increase further as lower prices encourage demand for the No. According to tanker tracking data, India is the No. 3 oil importer and consumer.

Russia’s part in India’s oil imports rose to an all-time high of 6% in April. That’s an increase from around 66,000 barrels per daily (bpd), in March.

Indian Oil Corp. is the country’s leading refiner. It bought its first Russian Arco cargo of oil last month.

Western sanctions against Russia over its invasion in Ukraine have opened up a rare arbitration flow. This has led Indian refiners and other companies to buy more cheaper Russian oil than many Western countries.

Analyst at Refinitiv, Ehsanul Haq stated that “Prices of Russian Urals crude dropped sharply due sanctions against Russia” and that Kazakhstan’s CPC mixture crude crude came under increased pressure because it is loaded from Russia.

According to him, Indians have bought Russian oil that was not yet rediscovered while European buyers purchased higher quantities of oil from African and U.S. sources.

India’s share of African oil declined from 14.5% to 6% in March to approximately 6% in April. Meanwhile, the U.S. nearly halved its import share to just 3%.

In April, India imported about 11% more oil from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan than it did in March. From 68%, 71% of the oil from Middle East rose to 71%.

Share of various regions in India’s monthly oil imports

Preliminary data from Refinitiv flows shows that India’s imports of oil from Russia will rise to around 487,000.

Iraq remained India’s top oil supplier last month. Saudi Arabia was second and United Arab Emirates third.

Indian refiners produced 6.9% more oil in April than usual and approximately 11.6% more than last year, which was when the second COVID-19 wave impacted local oil demand.

India’s April oil imports rose due to refiners raising runs to meet demand locally and gain from solid refining margins.

Haq explained that Russian grades were also obtained by companies at attractive rates. They had to lift volumes committed under a term contract with Middle Eastern suppliers.

In April, India’s foreign supply share was lowered by OPEC due to Russia’s higher imports.

OPEC’s share of India’s oil imports drop to record low