According to the data, Russia’s share in India’s oil purchases increased to a record 6%, approximately 277,000 barrels per day (BPD) in April, up from roughly 66,000 BPD in March, when it was in 10th position, which was supplied by trade sources.
Indian Oil Corp., the country’s top refiner, purchased its first-ever Russian Arco oil cargo last month.
Western sanctions affecting Russia for its invasion of Ukraine have unlocked a rare arbitrage flow, prompting Indian refiners to expand their buying of cheaper Russian oil shunned by many Western countries and companies.
Indians had purchased stranded Russian oil, while some European buyers had bought higher African and U.S. crude volumes.
The share of African oil in India’s overall oil imports dropped to almost 6% in April from 14.5% in March, while the U.S. nearly split to 3%.
Grades from Azerbaijan, Russia, and Kazakhstan accounted for nearly 11% of India’s imported oil in April, compared with roughly 3% in March. The share of Middle Eastern oil increased to 71% from 68%.
Share of Different Regions in India’s Monthly Oil Imports
India’s oil imports from Russia should increase to approximately 487,500 BPD in May. Refiners have ramped up purchases from Russia, preliminary data from Refinitiv flows display.
Last month, Iraq resumed being the top oil supplier to India, followed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In April, Indian refiners imported 4.7 million BPD of oil; up 6.9% from the previous month and about 11.6% higher than a year earlier.
In April, the higher imports from Russia hauled down OPEC’s share of foreign supplies to India.