India Sets New Record For Crude Oil Imports In January Amid Global Shipping Crisis

(MENAFN- KNN India) New Delhi, Feb 24 (KNN)
India's crude oil imports soared to unprecedented levels in January, hitting a monthly record, as revealed by data from trade sources.

This surge was attributed to the repercussions of the Red Sea shipping crisis, which caused delays in the arrival of cargoes from the Americas in December.

The world's third-largest oil importer and consumer, India, also marked a significant event in January by receiving its first cargo of Venezuelan oil in over three years.

This development followed the easing of sanctions by the U.S. on the South American producer.

According to the data, India's oil imports reached 5.24 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, representing a notable 17 per cent increase from December and a 3.5 per cent rise compared to the same period last year.

This figure surpassed the previous monthly peak of 5.1 million bpd recorded in January 2018.

The trade estimates exceeded preliminary data released by the oil ministry, indicating India's January oil imports at a 21-month high of 21.39 million metric tons (5.1 million bpd).

Explaining the delays, LSEG analyst Ehsan Ul Haq highlighted that certain U.S. and Latin American oil cargoes were diverted due to the Red Sea crisis, resulting in their arrival in late December or January.

An Indian refiner official confirmed the delay of some December cargoes to January, attributing it to increased freight and insurance costs amid the Red Sea troubles.

Furthermore, India's Russian oil imports rebounded in January, albeit with a slight decline in Russia's total share, while Latin America's share saw an increase.

To mitigate disruptions, Indian refiners turned to Middle Eastern suppliers, boosting imports from Iraq to the highest levels since August 2019 and elevating the share of Middle Eastern oil in India's overall imports to 54 per cent
in January.

Despite challenges, India's oil import dynamics underscore its resilience in navigating global supply disruptions, with strategic shifts towards regional suppliers ensuring stability amidst crisis-induced fluctuations.

(KNN Bureau)


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