Russia remains India’s top oil supplier – New Delhi — RT India

Russia remains India’s top oil supplier – New Delhi — RT India

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Official data shows that crude imports from Moscow jumped more than 40% year-on-year in January

Sales of Russian oil to India have continued to rise in 2024, despite the pressure from Western sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict, according to trade data from New Delhi’s Commerce Ministry.

The figures show that India’s crude imports in January were worth $4.48 billion, a 14% increase month-on-month, and up 41% from a year ago.

According to the data, Moscow’s deliveries once again outpaced those from India’s traditional Middle Eastern suppliers. Iraq’s deliveries remained stable at $2.54 billion, while deliveries from Saudi Arabia, once India’s top crude supplier, plunged by 31% to $1.55 billion. Shipments from the United Arab Emirates stood at $980 billion.

India, Asia’s third-biggest economy and the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer, increased oil purchases from Russia after Moscow was forced to reroute supplies to Asia in response to the Western sanctions. As a result, Russia emerged as the biggest crude supplier to India in 2023, accounting for more than 30% of its imports, mainly due to discounts offered by Moscow in light of the $60-per-barrel price cap imposed by Western nations.

While the discounts have been gradually cut from around $30 per barrel to the current $4-6 per barrel, India’s demand for Russian crude has remained stable even after the most recent US sanctions on ship-owners carrying Russian oil above the price cap. Sanctions caused payment issues and a slight drop in crude sales at the end of last year.

Indian Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri recently said his country will continue to import Russian oil as long as it is offered favorable prices. Speaking to RT on the sidelines of India Energy Week, he noted that while the West “decided to weaponize” Russian oil by targeting it with sanctions, India has no plans to do so and “will import from wherever we can,” because crude oil is “the biggest item in India’s import basket.”

According to a Bloomberg report last month, India’s major oil refiners – Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, and Hindustan Petroleum – have been in talks over new agreements for crude deliveries with Russian energy giant Rosneft, aiming to sign deals for a steady, long-term supply instead of one-off purchases.

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