Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia to become India's second-largest oil supplier, as refiners buy up Russian crude oil offered at a big discount following the war in Ukraine, international media reported on Tuesday.
Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war on Feb. 24, India – the world's third-largest oil importer – has taken a firm stance on its insistence on buying Russian oil despite the EU ban as Moscow is selling its oil at an almost 30% discount.
According to a detailed tracker of Russian oil, gas and coal shipments, and pipeline exports by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, India has become a significant importer of Russian crude oil, buying 18% of the country’s exports.
Indian refineries have become key importers of Russian crude oil, accounting for a growing share of Russia's overall crude exports. It increased from roughly 1% prior to the war to 18% in May.
The Jamnagar refinery is the largest buyer, receiving 27% of its oil from Russia in May, up from less than 5% in April.
Arrivals from Russia have mainly replaced arrivals from other sources, but there has also been an uptick in crude intake since the beginning of April when Russian arrivals started to rise sharply.
A significant share of Indian crude is re-exported as refined oil products, including to the US and Europe, which is an important gap to close.
Iraq remained the top supplier to India in May and Saudi Arabia is now the third-biggest supplier.