Data from commercial sources showed that India’s imports of Russian oil jumped to a record level of 1.4 million barrels per day in January, up 9.2% from December, with Moscow continuing to be the top seller on a monthly basis for oil to New Delhi, followed by Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The data showed that last month Russian oil accounted for about 27% of the five million barrels per day of crude imported by India, the third largest importer and consumer of oil in the world.
India’s oil imports usually rise in December and January as state-run refineries avoid shutdowns for maintenance in the first quarter to meet annual production targets set by the government.
India’s refiners, which rarely buy Russian oil because of the cost of logistics, have become a major customer for Russian oil, seizing on a lower price after Western countries shied away from it since the invasion of Ukraine in February.
Canada became India’s fifth-largest oil supplier in January, after the UAE, according to the data.
India’s imports of Iraqi oil rose in January to the highest level in seven months, recording 983,000 barrels per day, up 11% from December.
The data also showed that Iraq continued during the first ten months of the fiscal year, from April to January, to top the list of the largest oil suppliers to India, and Russia came in that period in second place instead of Saudi Arabia, which became third.