Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East

Indian refiners cut crude oil purchases from Russia in July


Indian refining companies cut down Russia crude purchases in July, the first time since March along with its overall purchase while supplies from Saudi Arabia rebounded for the first in five months, data from trade and industry sources revealed.

Indian refiners lifted more term crude supplies from Saudi Arabia as prices were attractive while prices for Russian supplies have climbed on robust demand, the data showed.

“India shipped in 877,400 barrels per day (bpd) oil from Russia in July, a decline of about 7.3% from June, with Moscow continuing as its second-biggest oil supplier after Iraq,” a Reuters report said quoting trade data.

Refiners in India are snapping up discounted Russian oil after some Western countries and companies shunned purchases from Moscow over its late-february conflict with Ukraine, the report said.

Overall India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, shipped in 3.2% less oil in July at 4.63 million bpd from June as some refineries planned maintenanc­e turnaround from August, the data showed.

India’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose by 25.6% to 824,700 bpd in July, the highest in three months, the data showed, after the producer lowered the official selling price (OSPS) in June and July compared with May. Saudi Arabia stayed at the third spot among India’s crude suppliers.

Trade data also showed that the share of Middle East oil in India’s overall imports declined marginally in July as the nation cut purchases from Iraq by 9.3% from June to below the one million bpb mark for the first time in 10 months.

India has raised imports of Russia’s diesel-rich ESPO grade and that could further dent the purchase of similar grades from West Africa. Reuters report said that ESPO is cheaper than Brent-linked Atlantic basin crude as it is sold at a discount to Dubai oil.

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