Exports of Russian crude to India increased to 277,000 barrels per day (bpd) in April, compared to 66,000 bpd recorded in the previous month, Reuters reports, citing data provided by trade sources.
The surge has boosted the share of Russian crude in India’s oil purchases to a record 6%, making Russia the fourth biggest supplier to the country. India is the world’s number three oil consumer and importer.
Western sanctions on Moscow have opened up the opportunity for Indian refiners to increase purchases of Russian oil at discounted prices, as some European customers have been shunning Russian crude.
Indian Oil Corporation, the country’s top refiner, bought its first-ever Russian Arco oil cargo in March.
“Prices of Russian Urals crude fell sharply due to sanctions against Russia while Kazakhstan’s CPC blend crude came under pressure as it is loaded from a Russian port,” Ehsan Ul Haq, an analyst with Refinitiv, said, as quoted by Reuters.
Meanwhile, the share of African oil in India’s overall oil imports declined to about 6% in April, from 14.5% in March, while supplies from the US nearly halved to 3%. Grades from Azerbaijan, Russia, and Kazakhstan together accounted for about 11% of India’s imported oil in April, compared with about 3% in March.
The higher imports from Russia sent OPEC’s share of foreign supplies to India plummeting to a record low in April.
According to preliminary data from Refinitiv, India’s oil purchases from Russia are set to further increase to around 487,500 this month, as refiners have ramped up imports.