India’s cheap Russian oil import continues to increase as cheap as the former took 1.96 million barrels a day from the later in May, 15 per cent more than the previous high in April.
According to the news agency PTI, India import of Russian oil is now more than the combined oil bought from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE and the US.
“Russia now makes up for nearly 42 percent of all crude oil India imported in May. This is the highest share for an individual country in recent years,” the report said.
It said the rise in Russian share came at the cost of traditional suppliers in the Middle East.
“Shipments from Saudi Arabia slipped to 560,000 tonnes - the lowest since February 2021. Oil producers cartel OPEC's share in India's oil imports fell to an all-time low of 39 per cent in May,” it mentioned.
“Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), mainly in the Middle East and Africa, made up for as much as 90 per cent of all crude oil India imported at one point of time, but this has been sliding since Russian oil became available at a discount in the aftermath of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February last year,” it sated.
It mentioned for the eighth straight month, Russia continued to be the single largest supplier of crude oil, making up for 42 per cent of all oil India imported.
Indian refiners in the past rarely bought Russian oil due to high freight costs but now they are snapping up plentiful Russian cargo available at a discount to other grades, as some Western nations rejected it because of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, it mentioned.
It added: “The purchases from Russia in May were more than double of 0.83 million bpd of oil bought from Iraq, which had been India's top oil supplier since 2017-18. Saudi Arabia has been pushed down to No.3 spot.”
“The average cost of Russian crude including freight costs landing on Indian shores in April was USD 68.21 a barrel - the lowest level since the Ukraine war. The average cost of Saudi Arabian crude sent to India in April was USD 86.96 a barrel, while Iraqi oil was priced at USD 77.77 a barrel,” it mentioned.
Russia is selling record amounts of crude oil to India to plug the gap in its energy exports after the European Union banned imports in December, it mentioned.