India crude oil imports from Russia is expected to cross two million barrels per day in April, making it also the largest supplier of refined fuels to Europe during the month, says a recently released report by analytics firm Kpler.
While the feat is spectacular, considering that several Gulf nations including Saudi Arabia besides the United Stated and China are major producers of refined fuels, India is reportedly bought Russian crude oil at higher prices.
Europe has also been dependent on crude oil products from India since Russia's invasion of Ukraine and sanction on Moscow's oil economy. Europe's dependency on Indian imports is likely to increase to more than 360,000 barrels per day, which is more than Europe’s imports from Saudi Arabia, says an ANI report quoting the Kpler report.
However, Russian oil is unlikely to come cheaper for Europe, which has cut off direct supplies from Russia, due both to high crude prices and rising freight rates. This, in turn, will handicap operations of European refineries.
Russia is expected to continue crude oil exports directly or indirectly to India and other friendly nations at least until a long-term ceasefire in Ukraine-Russia war is arrived at, or the sanctions on Russian oil industry ends.
While Russia started supplying oil to India at discounted rates following western sanctions, which acted as an incentive to Indian refiners, imports have now become costlier. India’s oil imports from Russia is expected to cross two million barrels per day in April, which is nearly 44 per cent of overall Indian crude oil import from Russia.
As per data from commerce ministry, Russia emerged as the largest exporter of crude to India by value in February despite a western price cap of $60 per barrel. In 2022-23, Russia has emerged as a major crude oil exporter to India.