India’s crude oil imports from Iran dropped 63 per cent to 0.86 Million Tonne in December, the lowest recorded in calendar year 2018, fresh data sourced from Directorate General of Commerce Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS) showed.
India had imported 2.32 Million Tonne of Iranian crude in December 2017.
Cumulatively, oil imports from Iran during the April-December 2018 period increased 18 per cent to 19.75 MT, as compared to 16.65 MT imported in the corresponding period a year ago.
India’s crude oil imports from Iran have been declining since November after US’ secondary sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector came in effect.
Making good the restrictions on Iranian crude oil exports, India’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia, the largest producer of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), jumped 53 per cent 3.02 MT in December 2018. Cumulatively, India’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia in the April-December period jumped 13 per cent to 29.39 MT.
Sanjiv Singh, Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), India’s largest fuel retailer and one of the biggest domestic consumer of Iranian crude, earlier this month said the company is optimistic about getting another waiver from the US and complete halt of Iranian crude is a tough decision to make.
India and Iran had on 2 November signed a bilateral agreement to settle oil trades through Indian government-owned UCO Bank in the Indian currency, which is not freely traded on international markets, Reuters reported.
According to data sourced from DGCIS, most of the Iranian crude during April-December 2018 came through the Paradip Port which handled around 4.68 MT of Iranian crude during the period as compared to 1.91 MT handled in the corresponding period previous year.
New Mangalore port handled 4.50 MT of Iranian crude during the April-December period as against 3.58 MT handled in the corresponding period previous year. Vadinar port handled 4.47 MT of Iranian crude during the period as compared to 5.35 MT handled in the nine months period previous year.
Imports from other countries
India’s crude oil imports from Iraq declined 3.20 per cent to 3.92 MT in December 2018 on a year-on-year basis.
Iraq, one of largest producers of OPEC and the largest crude oil supplier to India in 2017-2018, maintained its position in the first nine months of the current financial year (2018-2019), supplying 34.38 MT of crude oil in the period. Iraq’s crude exports to India in the same period previous year stood at 32.28 MT.
India’s oil imports from Nigeria also rose 20.53 per cent to 1.35 MT in December 2018. Crude oil imports from United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December 2018 increased 41.66 per cent to 1.87 MT. Imports from oil-rich Venezuela increased 13 per cent to 0.96 MT in December.
Venezuela is one of the top five crude oil suppliers to India. However, the volume of crude sourced from the OPEC member has been erratic on the back of ongoing political and economic crisis as well as under-investment in the upstream sector which is impacting the country’s production.
Cumulatively, India’s crude oil imports from Venezuela in the April-December 2018 period decreased 6.28 per cent to 13.42 MT from 14.32 MT imported in the corresponding period a year ago.
India’s total crude oil import bill during April-December 2018 increased 40.6 per cent to $86.9 billion as compared to $61.8 billion recorded in the year ago period.
Source :- Energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com