In October 2022, Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as India’s top crude oil supplier. As refiners increased their purchases of cheap oil from ships. The total import of crude oil in India is 1.07 million barrels per day (BPD) of crude from that country during the month. According to cargo tracking and analytical services provider Vortexa, up nearly 5% from 1.02 million BPD in September.

After purchasing a record 1.12 million BPD in June, Russia overtook China as India’s top supplier. According to the UK-based energy tracking firm. But even as he defended India’s choice to purchase cheaper oil from Russia this week. In an interview with the international news network CNN, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri insisted that Iraq remained India’s top supplier earlier this week. The West had imposed sanctions on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.

Historically, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have supplied the majority of India’s crude oil requirements. However, the Indian government was concerned about OPEC+’s decision to reduce production and keep prices high. OPEC+ is the Saudi Arabia-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Which also includes several countries from Central Asia, South America, and Asia aside from Russia. Its appeals to important West Asian producers to take action to reduce the price of the fuel fell on deaf ears.

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At one point, buying Russian oil was out of the question due to the expense of shipping the fuel. As a result, Russia only made up a small portion of India’s total oil imports. According to data from the ministry of commerce, Russia supplied roughly 2% of crude imports worth $2.47 billion in 2021–2022. That is roughly equal to what was imported from that nation in April and May of the current fiscal year.

That is mostly because Russian crude oil is sold at steep discounts, undercutting crude from West Asia. As a result, in the first half of the current fiscal year. Russia’s value portion of India’s imports of petroleum crude soared to nearly 16 percent. According to figures from the commerce ministry, India purchased almost as much crude by volume from Russia. During the months of April through August as it did from Saudi Arabia. The commerce ministry has not yet released volume numbers for September.

The increase in Russian oil imports also elevated that nation to India’s fifth-largest trading partner in September. Russia today has more bilateral trade than nations like Indonesia, Iraq, Singapore, South Korea, and Australia.

Russia was India’s fifth-largest trading partner from April to August 2022. But as its crude purchases increased, it overtook Indonesia and Iraq. Which together account for the majority of India’s imports of coal and edible oils and crude from Iraq.

The majority of one-way commerce with Russia consists of imports of petroleum crude. India only exports a limited amount of goods to that nation. Between April and September 2022, Indian refiners, the majority of which are private, imported petroleum crude worth $14.07 billion. Petroleum-related imports also increased to $1.52 billion. India imported crude and goods worth just $1.58 billion over the same time of the previous fiscal year.