Crude oil imports from Russia fell 20% in August

In August 2023, import from Russia was the lowest in the past seven months as crude imports from the country fell by 440kbd to 1.63 mbd.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

NEW DELHI: The country’s crude import in August tumbled by 120 thousand per barrel a day (kbd) to 4.45 million a barrel per day (mbd) on account of a dip in import from Russia, according to London-based market intelligence provider Vortexa. In August 2023, import from Russia was the lowest in the past seven months as crude imports from the country fell by 440kbd to 1.63 mbd. It had imported 2.1 mbpd from Russia in July 2023.  

“India’s crude imports in July reached a three-month high of 4.58 mbd. Strong domestic and exported crude oil demand had buoyed refiners to operate at high utilisation that month. In August 2023, lower crude imports from Russia saw the country’s total imports retreat. At least two refineries have shut down for planned maintenance, and several more are scheduled over this quarter and next,” said Serena Huang, an analyst at Vortexa.

It is believed that the reason for the drop in imports from Russia is a depleting discount. Earlier an official from one of India’s oil marketing companies had said the discount on Russian oil fell drastically from up to $15 a barrel to $5 a barrel.  India is tilting towards its traditional suppliers, and as per the Vortexa data, India’s crude imports from Saudi Arabia rebounded by 60% month-on-month to 840 kbd in August 2023. 

“India’s imports of Russian crude were down 440kbd in August to 1.63mbd, and discounts on Russian Urals against dated Brent have narrowed on a FOB basis. Given higher dated Brent prices in recent weeks, this means that Russian Urals is now likely more expensive when sold on a DES basis to Indian refiners,” said Serene Huang, an analyst at Vortexa.

Recently, Russia announced voluntary output cuts of 500,000 barrels a day in August and 300,000 barrels a day in September, mainly of Urals grade, according to Russian officials. Experts believe India’s import of Russian oil could now be in September too as refiners plan maintenance at their plants. Also, Russian crude prices are above the $60-a-barrel ceiling imposed by Western countries. 

August imports from Russia lowest in 7 months

In August 2023, import from Russia was the lowest in the past seven months as crude imports from the country fell by 440kbd to 1.63 mbd. It had imported 2.1 mbpd from Russia in July 2023. It is believed the reason for the drop in imports from Russia is a depleting discount. India’s crude imports from Saudi Arabia rebounded by 60% month-on-month in August.

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