India’s Feb oil imports up marginally from Jan, Middle East share shrinks

India’s oil imports in February rose 0.3% from the previous month to about 4.76 million barrels per day (bpd), according to preliminary tanker arrival data obtained from shipping and industry sources.

India, the world’s third biggest oil importer, ships in about 80% of its oil needs. The share of Middle Eastern fuel in overall Indian oil imports declined to a four-month low of 61% in February, while that of Central Asian oil, including Russian supplies, rose to a 10-month high of 5.5% in February, the data showed, as refiners snapped up long-haul oil mainly from the United States and Russia after the coronavirus outbreak hit demand in China.

Imports from the United States accounted for 5% of total oil imports in February and those from Africa declined to 11.3%, the data showed. The coronavirus outbreak in China curtailed its crude processing, leading to diversion of cargoes to other countries including India.

In coming months, India’s imports of Middle Eastern oil is set to surge as refiners are drawn to cheaper Saudi and UAE oil flooding the market after Russia’s refusal to back deeper output cuts at a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its OPEC+ allies. Also, the impact of the coronavirus has significantly undermined global oil demand.

The following table shows India’s imports by country. The imports include condensate.
Volumes are in ‘000 bpd.

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