Russia, the world’s third-largest oil importer, bought an average of 1.2 million barrels per day from Russia in December.
India bought a record amount of Russian oil last month, importing 33 times more than a year ago.
According to Vortexa Ltd, the world’s third-largest oil importer bought an average of 1.2 million barrels per day from Russia in December. This is a 29% increase from November.
India has become India’s largest oil supplier after overtaking Iraq and Saudi Arabia a few months ago.
Indian refiners have been buying cheap Russian oil since the invasion of Ukraine has left many buyers refusing to supply it. The surge in December may be the result of higher discount rates due to additional sanctions from the G7 and the European Union, including setting an oil price cap at $60 per barrel.
“Russia has likely offered its crude at an attractive discount to Indian refiners, which have surpassed China as the largest importer of Russian crude,” said Serena Huang, lead Asia analyst at Vortexa.
India meets over 85% of its oil demand through imports, making it very vulnerable to price fluctuations. State-owned refineries, which have been blocked by the government from raising diesel and gasoline prices since May, are increasingly opting for cheaper Russian imports.
Imports from two other major suppliers in India also increased over the past month. According to Vortexa, purchases from Iraq increased 7% to approximately 886,000 bpd, and purchases from Saudi Arabia increased 12% to approximately 748,000 bpd.