News Oil & Gas

Russian crude: Share of Russian crude in India’s imports up at 32% in February


Russia expanded its share in India’s crude oil imports to 32% in February from 27% in the previous month, little affected by Red Sea tensions and helped by rising demand from state-run refiners in India.

Saudi Arabia became India’s second-largest crude supplier in February, with its share rising to 19% from 14%. Iraq was a key loser, falling to 18% from 24%. In November, Russia had a share of 35%, which fell in both December and January before recovering in February.

State-run refiners accounted for 61% of total 1.41 million barrels per day (mbd) of crude India received from Russia in February, according to energy cargo tracker Vortexa. These companies’ combined share expanded from 52% in January as their daily import volume jumped by a quarter in a month while private sector refiners’ intake fell by 12%.

“India’s import of Russian crude is up 9% month-on-month in February, with higher arrivals of Urals and Sokol cargoes seen. Sokol cargo discharges resumed last month after being halted in December and January,” said Serena Huang, an analyst at Vortexa.

Share of Russian Crude in Imports Up at 32% in Feb

Urals, the flagship Russian crude grade, made up 82% of imports in February, up from 80% in the previous month, while the share of Sokol rose to 7% from zero.

Stricter enforcement of sanctions on ships carrying Russian crude has made imports riskier. “There is a real risk that logistics constraints could be a bottleneck for Russia’s crude exports to India, but we could possibly see increased dark activities to circumvent sanctions and keep flows going,” said Huang.

Russia has remained India’s top supplier for about one-and-a-half years despite Western sanctions and narrowing discounts on its crude. “We are not fixated on a specific amount of discount. As long as the discount on Russian oil is just enough to compete with rival supplies, we will keep importing from Russia,” said an executive at an Indian refiner.

Indian refiners take Russian supplies on a delivered-at-port basis and, therefore, shoulder no transit risk. But if ships get sanctioned on their way to Indian ports, refiners refuse to receive supplies as paying for them would become difficult.


Source link