Indian imports of cheap Russian crude surge since Ukraine invasion



NEW DELHI: India has received 34 million barrels of Russian oil at a discount since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24, Refinitiv Eikon data shows, more than tripling the value of total imports from of Russia, including other products, compared to the same period of 2021 .
Indian maritime oil import volumes from Russia exclude CPC Blend oil, which is also exported through Russia’s Black Sea port, but mainly supplied by Kazakh subsidiaries from Western countries as transit volumes.
India’s oil imports from Russia have been rising since February as Asia’s third-largest economy and the world’s third-largest oil importer have turned to heavily discounted Russian oil, mainly Urals crude, for reduce its import bill.
The country received more than 24 million barrels of Russian crude this month, compared to 7.2 million barrels in April and around 3 million in March, and is expected to receive around 28 million barrels in June, according to oil flows from Refinitiv Eikon.
The surge in energy imports helped push India’s total imports of goods from Russia between February 24 and May 26 to $6.4 billion, from $1.99 billion at the same period last year, according to government figures seen by Reuters.
India’s exports to Russia, however, fell by almost 50% to $377.07 million during this period, as its government has yet to put in place a formal payment mechanism.
While the West responded to the invasion with a barrage of sanctions, India has been criticized for its continued purchases of Russian energy.
New Delhi brushed off criticism, saying such imports were only a fraction of the country’s overall needs and said it would continue to buy “cheap” Russian oil, arguing that a sudden stop would increase costs for its consumers.
Russian and Indian energy companies also discussed forward supply deals and possible acquisitions of stakes in Russian oil and gas projects.


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