Saudi overtakes Russia as India’s no 2 oil supplier in August
According to data from industry and trade sources, after a three-month lull, Saudi Arabia surpassed Russia to become India’s second-largest oil supplier, while Iraq continued to hold the top rank in August.
The third-largest oil importer and consumer in the world, India, imported 863,950 barrels of petroleum per day (bpd) from Saudi Arabia, up 4.8% from the previous month, while purchases from Russia declined to 855,950 bpd, according to the statistics.
Despite Saudi Arabia’s increase, India’s proportion of OPEX oil fell to 59.8%, the lowest level in at least 16 years, as a result of a reduction in imports from Africa.
In the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, India has replaced China as Russia’s second-largest oil importer.
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The two nations are seen to be reducing the impact of Western sanctions on Moscow by securing raw resources at lower prices compared to supplies from other nations.
For its “special military action” in Ukraine, Moscow has not received public rebuke from New Delhi. On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a side meeting with President Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization conference.
After reaching a record in June, India’s monthly oil imports from Russia have been falling as Moscow has reduced the discounts granted for its oil and refiners have increased longer-term supply.
“Term contract provisions prevent you from reducing Saudi supplies in the end, and increasing demand, particularly in Asia, allowed Russia to drop its discounts,” said Ehsan Ul Haq, an analyst with Refinitiv.
Due to maintenance at several refineries, India’s total crude imports fell to a five-month low in August of 4.45 million bpd, down 4.1% from July, according to the statistics.
India’s purchases from Africa and other nations have been affected by the rise in Caspian Sea oil consumption, which comes primarily from Kazakhstan, Russia, and Azerbaijan.
According to the report, Latin America’s oil share decreased to 5.3% from around 7.7% in August, while African oil’s proportion decreased by half to 4.2%.
West African oil imports are minimal during the monsoon season because of India’s lower diesel demand, according to Haq.
The United States was the fifth-largest oil supplier to India in August, followed by Kazakhstan, who had displaced Kuwait as No. 4. The United Arab Emirates remained in fourth place.
The data showed that the Middle East’s share in India increased to 59% in August from 54% in July due to increased purchases of Saudi and Emirati oil, while that of the CIS countries increased to roughly 25% from 23%.
According to the data, over the first five months of current fiscal year, from April to August, India’s total imports of oil increased by nearly 16% to 757,000 bpd from 20,000 bpd, or a 0.5% share.
The data showed that this increased the share of CIS countries in India’s April–August oil imports to roughly 20% from 2.9%.