India’s oil imports from the Middle East fell to a 19-month low in September while Russian imports rebounded although refining outages hit overall crude imports, data from trade and shipping sources showed, Reuters reported Thursday.
Iraq remained the top supplier while Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the second biggest after a gap of a month, the data showed, as per the report.
Total Oil Imports Fell to 14-month Low in September
India’s total oil imports in September fell to a 14-month low of 3.91 million barrels per day (bpd), down 5.6% from a year earlier, due to maintenance at refiners such as Reliance Industries and Indian Oil Corp, the data showed.
India’s imports from the Middle East fell to about 2.2 million bpd, down 16.2% from August, the data showed, while imports from Russia increased 4.6% to about 896,000 bpd after dipping in the previous two months, according to the Reuters report.
Imports for Saudi Arabia fell to a three-month low of about 758,000 bpd, down 12.3% from August, while imports from Iraq plunged to 948,400 bpd, their lowest level in a year, the data showed.
Imports from the United Arab Emirates declined to a 16-month low of about 262,000 bpd, according to the report
‘India has Emerged as Russia’s Second Biggest Oil Buyer After China’
Russia’s share of India’s oil imports surged to an all-time high of 23% from 19% the previous month while that of the Middle East declined to 56.4% from 59%, the data showed.
The Reuters report further stated: “India has emerged as Russia’s second biggest oil buyer after China, taking advantage of discounted prices as some Western entities shun purchases over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine”.
“Higher intake of Caspian Sea oil has hit the share of other regions in India’s imports in April-September, the first half of the fiscal year, and also cut OPEC’s market share in the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer to its lowest ever,” the report stated, adding, “In the first half of this fiscal year, Indian refiners also reduced purchases of African oil, mostly bought from the spot market. However, supply from the Middle East rose from a low base last year when the second wave of the coronavirus cut fuel demand”.
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