India’s crude oil imports throughout April 2024 rose to its third highest stage on document as refiners topped up on provides to satisfy the home demand for auto fuels in addition to for export alternatives within the northern hemisphere forward of the summer time journey season.

The world’s third largest vitality shopper imported 21.4 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil final month, a progress of three per cent M-o-M and seven per cent Y-o-Y. Inbound shipments of the crucial commodity rose for the third consecutive month throughout April, in accordance with Petroleum Planning & Evaluation Cell (PPAC) knowledge.

Previous to this, Indian refiners imported an all-time excessive of 21.6 MT in April 2022, adopted by 21.5 MT in January this yr.

Analysts and commerce sources attribute the upper numbers to extra export volumes being shipped out of Russia and Chinese language refiners lifting of decrease cargoes, which elevated Russia’s share in complete imports to 40 per cent from roughly 30 per cent in March 2024.

Refiners elevate extra cargoes

In response to vitality intelligence agency Vortexa, India imported greater than 1.72 mb/d crude oil from Russia in April, the very best quantity within the final 9 months.

Personal refiners, Reliance Industries (RIL) and Rosneft-backed Nayara Vitality, imported round 770,000 barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil from Russia in April 2024, the very best in a yr.

Sensing the chance to acquire extra barrels, public refiners comparable to Indian Oil Company (IoC), Bharat Petroleum Company (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Company (HPCL) too imported 1.02 million barrels per day (mb/d) final month, which is a seven-month excessive.

  • Learn: India’s crude oil imports hit 4-month low in February after document excessive in January
Greater import invoice

Brent crude oil costs averaged $90.15 per barrel in April 2024, up from towards $85.48 in March 2024 and $84.94 a yr in the past. The Indian basket crude worth averaged at $89.46 a barrel final month, up from $84.49 in March 2024 and $83.76 in April 2023.

Consequently, India’s oil import invoice rose final month. The web import invoice for oil and fuel rose from $10.1 billion in April 2023 to $12.3 billion in April 2024. Crude oil imports constituted $13 billion, LNG imports $1.1 billion and exports have been $3.7 billion in April.

Earlier this month, state-run Bharat Petroleum Company (BPCL) stated that Russian provides have moderated, in comparison with FY24. The oil advertising firm (OMC) stated that reductions have virtually halved to $3-6 per barrel, from a mean of $8-10 throughout FY24.

Nevertheless, commerce sources famous that the Ukranian drone assaults on Russian refineries are making extra crude oil provides out there for exports. In response to the US EIA, round 14 per cent of Russia’s refining capability got here offline within the first quarter of 2024.

“This may make extra provides out there for exports to India. In April, extra provides have been out there as a result of drone assaults and decrease imports from China. Could ought to comply with go well with,” stated one of many sources.

Vortexa’s Head of APAC Evaluation, Serena Huang, informed businessline “Greater Russian crude exports in February and March in addition to decrease imports by Chinese language refiners have made out there extra volumes for Indian refiners. On condition that Russian crude cargoes are more likely to be extra discounted than Center East grades, Indian refiners are more likely to go for the previous.”

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