Russia has for the first time emerged as top oil supplier to India replacing Iraq as refiners last month snapped up oil from Moscow fearing a price cap from Dec. 5 could hit supplies and choke payment avenues, data obtained from trade sources showed.
India’s oil imports from Russia rose for the fifth straight month, totaling 908,000 barrels per day (bpd) in November, up 4% from October, the data showed.
The Group of Seven nations, Australia, and the 27 European Union countries have imposed a price cap of $60 a barrel on Russian seaborne oil from Dec. 5 as the West tries to limit Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine.
India, which rarely used to buy Russian oil because of costly logistics, has emerged as Russia’s second biggest oil client after China as refiners snap up discounted crude shunned by Western nations since the February invasion of Ukraine.
Higher purchases of Russian oil dragged down Indian imports from the Middle East and member nations of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) declined to the lowest ever in November, the data showed.