Saudi Arabia becomes top oil supplier to India

By: News Desk      Published: 04:53 PM, 20 May, 2020
Saudi Arabia becomes top oil supplier to India

Saudi Arabia replaced Iraq as the top oil supplier to India in April after a gap of three months as refiners in Asia's third-largest economy were drawn by deep discounts on Saudi crudes, data obtained from sources showed, reported energyworld.com on Wednesday.

Refiners in India, the third-largest oil importer, requested higher volumes for April from Saudi Aramco and UAE's Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), which both increased output while cutting prices last month.

India's oil imports in April totalled 4.63 million barrels per day (bpd), up 5 percent from March but down 4.1 percent from April 2019, the data showed.

Indian refiners had to curtail crude processing last month as demand slumped to its lowest levels since 2007 due to a nationwide lockdown to prevent spread of coronavirus.

Lower demand and storage constraints forced some refiners to declare force majeure on oil purchases from the Middle East, defer cargoes and keep some oil in floating storage.

State refiners also sold cargoes to the federal government for strategic reserve stockpiles and to avoid paying demurrage cost.

In April India also raised imports of Mediterranean grades such as CPC Blend, which saw steep price drops.

Nigeria, which also offered steep discounts, was the fourth biggest oil supplier and knocked Venezuela to fifth.

Lower intake of Venezuelan oil lowered Latin America's share of India's imports to 15.43 percent in April from 18.8 percent in March.

Higher Mediterranean and African supplies cut the Middle East's share to 56.6 percent from 58.9 percent in March. African grades accounted for about 13.9 percent versus 9.7 percent in March, while Mediterranean oil's share rose to 7.6 percent from 5.5 percent.