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India becomes 2nd-largest importer of Russian fuels



New Delhi: A third of Russia’s crude oil exports and a fifth of coal came to India in the past 12 months, making India the second-largest importer of Russian fuels after China, according to a research agency.

Since the European Union imposed a ban on the import of coal, oil and some other commodities from Russia on December 5, 2022, supplies to India and China have increased. Between the EU ban and the end of November this year, China imported 40% of all the coal and 45% of all the crude oil Russia exported, according to the Finland-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).

India purchased 32% of Russia’s crude oil exports while the EU (8%) and Turkey (4%) were the third- and fourth-largest buyers. Crude imports to some EU countries weren’t sanctioned.

India has also been the fourth-largest buyer of Russian LPG after Turkey, the EU and Estonia. The EU hasn’t sanctioned the import of LPG from Russia.

India ranked eighth in purchasing Russian refined oil products, with Turkey being the largest buyer. Turkey bought 24% of Russia’s refined products exports. India has been a minor importer of Russian LNG while the EU has been the largest buyer of the fuel.

The invasion of Ukraine and the consequent western sanctions on Russia disrupted the global energy supply network. The EU, the preferred buyer of Russian oil, gas and coal, is now seeking most of its supplies from elsewhere. Most of its oil and gas are now being sourced from the US and West Asia.Meanwhile, India has found an unlikely supplier in Russia, which has been offering its crude at a discount at a time when global crude prices have been high.India barely took Russian crude before the Ukraine war due to high freight. But discounts have made it attractive for Indian refiners. Discounts have varied between $12-13 per barrel and $3-4 based on international market conditions.



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