NEW DELHI: India’s imports of crude oil from Russia soared to a record 1.6 million barrels per day in February and are now higher than the combined imports from traditional suppliers Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Russia continued to be the single largest supplier of crude oil, which is converted into petrol and diesel at refineries, for a fifth straight month by supplying more than one-third of all oil India imported, according to energy cargo tracker Vortexa.
Refiners continue to snap up plenty of Russian cargoes available at a discount to other grades. From a market share of less than 1 per cent in India’s import basket before the RussiaUkraine conflict started in February 2022, Russia’s share of India’s imports increased to 35 per cent at 1.62 million barrels per day in February.
India, the world’s third-largest crude importer after China and the United States, has been snapping Russian oil that was available at a discount after some in the West shunned it as a means of punishing Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
The rise in Russian imports has been at the expense of Saudi Arabia and the United States. Oil import from Saudi fell 16 per cent month-onmonth and that from the US declined 38 per cent. According to Vortexa, Russia now accounts for more than the combined oil bought from Iraq and Saudi Arabia – India’s mainstay oil suppliers for decades.
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