According to data from energy analytics company Vortexa, which was cited by Bloomberg on Monday, India's imports of Russian crude oil reached a record high of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in December due to deep discounts on Russian crude when the price cap went into effect. India overtook China as the top destination for Russian oil.
Since India has become one of Russia's top buyers of crude as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, India's crude oil imports from Russia increased 33 times in December 2022 compared to December 2021.
India was a minor, insignificant importer of Russian crude oil before to the invasion of Ukraine. After Western consumers began to avoid Russian petroleum, India and China rose to prominence as major markets for Russian oil supplies. After surpassing Iraq in November, Russia is now India's single-largest oil supplier.
In spite of an increase in December, India's purchases of Saudi and Iraqi crude lagged behind those of Russian crude. According to Export Import Data
, imports of Saudi crude increased by 12% to 748,000 bpd while imports of Iraqi oil increased by 7% to 886,000 bpd.
As Indian refiners raced to stock up on Russian oil before the December 5 price cap and related bans on transportation services for Russia's crude, Russia surpassed Iraq to become the country's top oil supplier in November.
However, India continued to purchase significant amounts of discounted Russian crude even after the price cap went into effect and began importing some of Russia's Arctic crude oil kinds for the first time, taking advantage of inexpensive Russian shipments to satisfy robust demand.
China, the world's largest crude oil importer, as well as other customers of Russian crude, like India, now have more negotiating ability to negotiate hefty discounts for the Russian crude even outside the price cap system, analysts claim. China and India have not joined the Price Cap Coalition.