India Emerges as Top Global Importer of Russian Seaborne Crude
09:23 GMT 29.11.2022 (Updated: 09:37 GMT 29.11.2022)
Russia supplied just 0.2 percent of India’s overall crude requirements until recently, a figure which has jumped to 22 percent. India, the third biggest global energy consumer, relies on imports to meet 85 percent of its domestic requirements.
India purchased nearly 40 percent of Russian Urals-grade oil transported through seaborne routes in November, becoming the biggest global importer of Russian seaborne crude, according to US financial market data firm Refinitiv and other estimates.
Likewise, seaborne and pipeline Russian crude constituted 22 percent of India’s overall oil imports in October, overtaking Delhi’s traditional suppliers Iraq (20.5 percent) and Saudi Arabia (16 percent).
India’s imports of Russian crude peaked at 935,556 barrels per day (bpd) which was an all-time high.
China, in comparison, imported an average 1.82 million bpd of Russian seaborne and pipeline crude during the same month.
17 November 2022, 09:57 GMT
At the same time, Russian oil exports to the European Union (EU), traditionally Moscow's biggest crude buyer, constituted only a quarter of the country's maritime exports in November.
Russia exported a total of 7.5 million tonnes of oil in November, not including the transit of oil through Kazakhstan.
Meanwhile, exports of Russian crude to the EU are expected to drop further in the coming weeks as the bloc gears up to ban sea-bound crude imports from Moscow after December 5. The eighth round of sanctions, which turned effective last month, also called for the imposition of a price cap on the maritime transport of Russian oil.
The proposed price cap, backed by the US and the EU, looks to curtail Moscow’s revenues as part of a coordinated action plan by western countries to reduce Russia’s political and economic leverage in the wake of the special military operation in Ukraine.
The Biden administration has reportedly proposed to cap the price of Russian crude at or below $60 a barrel.
Russia won't export oil and gas to those countries that choose to cap energy prices, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in mid-October.
India and China, the two biggest importers of Russian oil this year, have so far refused to commit themselves to the terms of the price cap, despite sustained pressure by the US, and EU.
Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, during a trip to Moscow this month, said that Delhi would continue to purchase Russian crude as the Indian government was duty-bound to access energy at the “most advantageous” terms for the Indian population.