India has received 34 million barrels of discounted Russian oil since February, more than 10 times the value of the total imports from the country year-on-year, Reuters reported on Monday, citing Refinitiv Eikon data.
According to the report, more than 24 million barrels of Russian crude were supplied this month, up from 7.2 million barrels in April, and from about three million barrels in March. The South Asian nation is set to receive about 28 million barrels in June, data shows.
Last year, Russian crude exports to India averaged just 960,000 barrels per month, roughly 25 times less than this month’s total.
Western sanctions on Moscow have created an opportunity for Indian refiners to increase purchases of Russian oil (mostly Urals crude) at discounted prices, as some European customers have been vocally reluctant to buy Russian crude.
India has come under fire from the West for its continued purchases of Russian oil. However, New Delhi has rebuffed the criticism, saying those imports make up a fraction of the country’s overall needs. Authorities also said India will keep buying “cheap” Russian oil as a sudden stop could drive up costs for its consumers. Previous media reports have indicated that the world’s third-biggest oil importer was seeking Russian crude at less than $70 a barrel to compensate for additional hurdles caused by sanctions.