New Delhi: The most recent data from the commerce ministry show that India’s import of Russian oil increased to about 18% of its total imports of petroleum crude in July.
According to the report, India purchased Russian crude oil worth $2.88 billion in July, a slight decrease of 0.4% from the $2.89 billion figure for June. Russian oil represented 17.9% of all petroleum crude imports in July compared to 16.8% in June, despite India’s petroleum crude imports declining by more than a billion dollars from June to July.
There are no country-specific import statistics for August yet.
According to preliminary trade data for August, which was published on September 14th, imports of crude oil, products, and petroleum surged to $17.7 billion last month from $16.11 billion in July.
The increase in Indian government purchases of Russian oil in recent months has been striking as it reflects the discounts that have been made available. Nirmala Sitharaman, the minister of finance, lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week for choosing to immediately increase Russia’s oil imports in spite of sanctions put in place after its invasion of Ukraine in late February.
“Wherever there are sanctions, countries are finding their own ways to get Russian crude, Russian gas. That also is a part of inflation management,” the finance minister had added.
India imported $8.95 billion worth of crude oil from Russia between April and July. Contrarily, the total amount for FY22 was $9.87 billion.
Another indicator of how quickly Russia has established itself as a major supplier of petroleum crude to India is the fact that, in April, 8.4% of India’s total petroleum crude imports came from Russia. This percentage increased to 12.8% in May, 16.8% in June, and finally 17.9% in July.
Russian oil shipments increased quickly, overtaking Saudi Arabia in June to become India’s second-largest source of petroleum crude. Iraq, the current leader, will be crossed in the upcoming months.
India imported crude oil from Iraq for $3.2 billion in July, barely $321.7 million more than it imported from Russia. Only 0.28 million tonnes more oil was imported from Iraq than from Russia in terms of volume.