HomeTrendingIndia imports more petroleum from Russia, Iraq in September

India imports more petroleum from Russia, Iraq in September

Preliminary trade flow data from LSEG, Kpler, and Vortexa revealed that India’s oil imports from Russia increased in September after falling to a seven-month low in August as prices declined relative to Middle Eastern crude.

The data showed that India, the third largest oil importer and user in the world, increased its imports from Iraq while consuming less Saudi oil.

“Price competitiveness favours Russian crude and if the Indian refiners want to take term volumes from the Middle East, they seem to prefer Iraqi barrels as Basrah Medium continues to be some $2 per barrel cheaper than Arab Medium or Arab Light,” said Viktor Katona, lead crude analyst at Kpler.

According to LSEG data, India purchased 1.55 million barrels per day (bpd) more Russian oil in September than it did in August while also importing 1.1 million bpd more Iraqi oil. Russian oil imports were estimated by Vortexa to be 1.52 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 1.44 million in August.

In contrast, LSEG figures show that India’s imports from Saudi Arabia decreased by 10% from August to approximately 676,000 bpd in September.

India’s imports of Russian crude increased to 1.8 million bpd in September from less than 1.5 million bpd in August, according to Kpler statistics.

Once refiners have finished turning around their units for maintenance by the end of October, India’s imports from Russia will be closer to the 2 million bpd mark, according to Kpler’s Katona.

The majority of Indian refineries purchase crude around two months before processing. They generally buy Middle Eastern crude through long-term contracts, but they mostly buy Russian oil on the spot market.

Following an August purchasing slowdown by Indian refiners, discounts for Russian oil loading in September started to expand.

After Western countries imposed sanctions and stopped purchasing Russian oil as a result of that country’s invasion of Ukraine in February of last year, Indian refiners pounced on the discounted crude.