Russia continues to be the largest supplier of crude oil to India. The second largest supplier of crude is Iraq followed by Saudi Arabia. While Russia supplied 37 million tons in the first five months of the year, India imported 21.4 million tons of crude form Iraq and 17.5 million tons from Saudi Arabia.
Commodities analytics firm Kpler noted that India’s imports of crude oil from Russia surged to a record high of 2.2 million barrels a day in June. However, in July, supplies have somewhat eased. Analysts attribute the drop to production cuts agreed by the OPEC+ group, under which Moscow has pledged to reduce output by 500,000 barrels per day, RT, the Russian state-controlled international news television network said.
India imports about 85 per cent of its total oil requirements and an increase in global price, therefore, has a direct impact over its import bills. The third largest consumer of oil, India’s net import bill for oil and gas was $14.9 billion in July 2022 compared to $8.0 billion in July 2021. India which has refused to be part of the West-led sanctions, is importing Russian oil at a price significantly cheaper than Saudi Arabia.
In 2021, Russian oil comprised just 2 per cent of India’s total crude imports. But now it accounts for about 42 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, S&P Global said.
Currently, India along with China comprise the major oil export markets for Russia.