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Russia Becomes India’s 2nd Largest Oil Supplier

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Russia became India’s second biggest crude oil supplier in May, as New Delhi has been stocking up on the discounted Russian commodity, Reuters reported on Monday, citing trade sources.

According to the report, Indian refiners received around 819,000 barrels per day of Russian oil last month, compared to some 277,000 in April.

Iraq has retained its position as India’s largest oil supplier, while Saudi Arabia, which was previously India’s second biggest exporter, has slid to third place.

Overall, India’s oil imports in May amounted to 4.98 million barrels per day, up 5.6% from the previous month and around 19% year-on-year, as domestic refiners were forced to boost production amid growing demand.

Many oil buyers started to snub Russian oil as Western sanctions hit the country in response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in late February.

The UK and the US went so far as to put an embargo on Russian oil, with the EU also planning the move in a few months. Russia, in turn, offered record discounts on its oil to attract buyers, which prompted China and India to step up their purchases.

Despite calls to cut ties with Russia, India said that it needed extra oil supplies to avoid a fuel price surge at home, and noted that its Russian imports made up a mere fraction of the country’s overall oil needs.

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