India saved over Rs 35,000 crore with discounted Russian crude, may continue buying: Experts

India has saved thousands of crores of rupees buying discounted Russian crude oil and also saved on the outflow of dollars at a time when the local currency has been weak. Even as geopolitical pressure intensified against Russia after it attacked Ukraine, India has made it clear that it will give its own energy needs priority and continue to buy oil from Russia.

According to industry estimates, India is estimated to have saved over Rs 35,000 crore by importing cheap Russian crude since February. Russia began diverting oil supplies from its traditional markets to countries in Asia after Europe — its largest market — imposed sanctions on Moscow. India and China have become the largest buyers of Russian oil, benefiting from the discounted oil supplied by Russia.

 

“In the last financial year, Russia accounted for only 2 percent of the overall crude oil import basket for India. Whereas, in the first half of FY23, of the total oil imports of 20 million tonnes, 16 percent was from Russia, which is roughly around 3.2 million tonnes,” said Hetal Gandhi, Director-Research, Crisil.

According to market analytics data from Vortexa, Russia was the top supplier of oil to India in November for the second consecutive month as the country bought 909,400 barrels per day (bpd) from Russia.

In November, India bought about 40 percent of all seaborne Russian Urals oil, higher than any other state, showed Reuters calculations, based on Refinitiv and traders’ data.

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