In September, India purchased 18% more Russian oil than in the previous month. This was reported by the Indian edition of The Economic Times.
In particular, according to data from cargo tracking company Vortexa, Russia has become the second largest oil importer to India after Saudi Arabia. In September, Indian oil refiners bought 879,000 barrels of “black gold” from Russia every day.
The newspaper’s experts noted that “India may buy more Russian oil in the current quarter due to seasonal growth in domestic demand.” In addition, “Russia’s share of the Indian crude oil market could continue to rise if the European Union keeps its promise to ban imports of Russian oil from December,” they said.
Earlier, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov explained in an interview with TASS that the volume of Russian oil imports from the beginning of 2022 increased by at least seven times by July. According to him, “the crisis situation in the global energy sector provoked by the sanctions is forcing Russian suppliers to look for new markets, and Indian buyers to choose the best offers.” In August, the volume of deliveries reached 1 million barrels per day.
India saves a lot on Russian oil purchases
As a result, writes The Times of India, citing sources in the Indian Ministry of Commerce, over the past six months, India has saved about $440 million on Russian oil imports. This amount was saved as a result of increased purchases of Russian oil since March, when it began to be sold at a discount of $30 per barrel. According to the agency, India purchased over $12 billion worth of hydrocarbons from Russia in March, compared to just over $1.5 billion in the same month of 2021.
In April-July, Russian oil imports amounted to $11.2 billion. This is almost eight times more than the figure of $1.3 billion in the same period last year. $7 billion of this amount came from imports in June-July. Since the end of February, Indian state and private companies have bought about 62.5 million barrels of Russian oil.
The publication notes that the purchase of Russian oil at a significant discount was crucial for India, since its needs for this energy source are met by 83% through imports. Overall, the country’s spending on oil purchases from abroad rose to $119 billion in the last fiscal year 2021-2022 (ended March 31). This has become a significant burden on the budget and affected the pace of economic recovery after the pandemic.