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India displaces China to be largest purchaser of Russian seaborne oil

Russian remains India's top oil supplier

As more than 90 per cent of Russian oil is flowing into Asia since the beginning of the Ukraine war last year, India’s imports of seaborne crude from Moscow are now even higher than China. China is now in the second spot.

In 2023, Russia will prioritise supplying oil and petroleum products to its “friendly markets” which include India and China.  Moscow has said that it will increase its oil supplies to India this year.

In 2022, Russia supplied 32 million tons of oil and petroleum products to India, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview.

“China, India are first of all among the countries where additional volumes of oil and petroleum products will flow. Previously we almost did not supply those products to India, whereas last year exports there totaled 32 mln tons, and they will be even higher this year. Those are our friendly markets,” Russian news agency TASS quoted Novak as saying.

According to S&P Global, Russian oil now accounts for almost 40 per cent of Indian crude imports, which is close to the estimated maximum of 40-45 per cent that refiners could technically process given the quality of the crude.

Several countries have taken advantage of the discounted Russian oil. Recently, Pakistan also started imports of Russian oil.

Also read: India-Russia ties look up ahead of Putin’s possible Delhi visit in July