India has bought 34 million barrels of discounted Russian oil since Ukraine invasion: data

Published May 30, 2022
In this file photo, the sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack.
— Reuters
In this file photo, the sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack. — Reuters

India has received 34 million barrels of discounted Russian oil since Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb 24, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, more than trebling the value of total imports from Russia, including other products, compared with the same period of 2021.

The volumes of India's seaborne oil imports from Russia exclude CPC Blend oil, which is also exported via Russia's Black Sea port, but mostly supplied by Kazakhstan's subsidiaries of western countries as transit volumes.

India's oil imports from Russia have been rising since February, as Asia's third-largest economy and the world's third-biggest oil importer, turned to deeply discounted Russian oil, mostly Urals crude, to cut its imports bill.

Read more: Imran praises India for buying discounted oil

The country received more than 24m barrels of Russian crude this month, up from 7.2m barrels in April and about 3m in March, and is set to receive about 28m barrels in June, according to Refinitiv Eikon oil flows.

Surging energy imports helped push India's total goods imports from Russia between Feb 24 and May 26 to $6.4 billion, compared with $1.99bn in the same period last year, according to government figures seen by Reuters.

India's exports to Russia, however, fell nearly 50 per cent to $377.07m over that period, as its government is yet to set up a formal payment mechanism.

Also read: Biden pushes Modi to cut Russian oil imports, gets no commitment

As the West responded to the invasion with a barrage of sanctions, India has come under fire for its continued purchases of Russian energy.

New Delhi has brushed off the criticism, saying those imports made only a fraction of the country's overall needs and has said it will keep buying “cheap” Russian oil, arguing a sudden stop would drive up costs for its consumers.

Russian and Indian energy companies have also been discussing term supply agreements and possible acquisitions of stakes in Russian oil and gas projects.

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