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April 27, 2024

India’s Crude Oil Imports Drop 1.1% in March, Russia Tops Supplier List: Government Data

Government data released on Friday revealed a slight decline in India’s crude oil imports for March, down by 1.1 percent compared to the same period last year, totaling 20.69 million metric tonnes. The Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) reported that imports of crude oil products also saw a dip of nearly 12 percent year-on-year, amounting to 3.83 million tonnes, while product exports decreased by 6.4 percent to 5.66 million tonnes over the same period.

In March, product imports reached 3.83 million tonnes, marking a 6.1 percent decrease from the previous month and hitting its lowest point since July 2023. However, exports saw a 6.4 percent increase during the same period. Notably, exports of fuel oil surged by nearly 79 percent to 0.25 million tonnes, while gasoline exports rose by 6.3 percent to 1.34 million tonnes, as per PPAC data.

Russia maintained its position as the top oil supplier to India for the fiscal year 2023/24, marking a second consecutive year. This trend has led to historic lows in the market share of Middle Eastern and OPEC producers, according to ship tracking data from industry sources earlier in the month.

Despite recent geopolitical tensions, a ship controlled by the U.S.-sanctioned Russian shipping giant Sovcomflot (SCF) discharged fuel oil at a western Indian port on Friday, indicating a resumption in the use of SCF vessels to supply Moscow’s key market after a brief halt.

The significance of these developments prompted discussions between India, the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer, and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) regarding recent trends and volatility in the global oil market and their impact on global energy stability. A government statement released last week confirmed the deliberations.

India’s energy landscape continues to navigate the complexities of global oil dynamics, with shifts in supply chains and geopolitical alliances influencing its import patterns and strategic engagements. As the country strives for energy security, it remains vigilant in monitoring global market trends and engaging with key stakeholders to ensure stability in its energy sector.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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