Russia is making huge inroads into the Indian oil market and has quite possibly become the largest supplier to the giant Asian buyer.
Russian oil is on pace to account for 21% of all imports into India, shrinking the shares of Iraqi and US crude.
India is turning away from its favourite crude—Iraqi Basrah, a staple for state-run refiners led by IOC. Displacing Iraq is Russia, which may become India’s biggest crude supplier in June for the first time, pushing Iraq to the second position. Deeply discounted Russian Urals have also shrunk the share of US crude, once among India’s top four oil suppliers.
India has defended the Russian purchases, citing its national interest to source cheaper crude. The buying has delivered one part a trove of cash that Russia garnered from commodity markets, funding its war.
Russia’s muscling into the Indian and Chinese markets has been eating into share of Iraq and Saudi Arabia in the world’s biggest oil consuming region.
The two nations combined deliveries to India have dropped by about 500,000 barrels a day since April, as Russian flows ramped up, according to tracking data.
Refiners in India have been gorging on cheap Russian barrels in a way they never did before the invasion of Ukraine, making it noticeable even to Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president.