Overtaking Iraq, Russia becomes India's top oil supplier

Overtaking Iraq, Russia becomes India's top oil supplier

Shafaq News/ Russia surpassed Iraq and Saudi Arabia last month to become India's top crude supplier, according to data from energy firm Vortexa cited by the Economic Times.

India's crude imports from Russia climbed 8% to 946,000 barrels a day during October, the highest average ever for a month, accounting for 22% of India's total crude imports. That clocked in above Iraq's 20.5% share, and Saudi Arabia's 16%.

October also marked the first time that India brought in more seaborne Russian crude than the European Union did.

Meanwhile, China remained the biggest overall buyer of Russian oil, importing 1 million crude barrels a day during October.

Through 2022, Russia has been moving away from European markets as Western buyers shun Moscow. Since Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been forced to sell its energy at deep discounts to Asian buyers.

Fresh EU sanctions loom on December 5 and a proposed price cap designed to coincide with that package would prevent European shippers, insurers, and insurance brokers from handing Russian oil above a certain price.

Still, Indian Oil Minister Hardeep Puri told CNN on Monday that buyers had a "moral duty" to continue buying crude to keep its population furnished with energy.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Vitol, the world's largest independent energy trader, predicted this week that Russia's exports could drop by as much as 1 million barrels per day due to EU sanctions, even as a "dark fleet" of ships is poised to move supplies under the radar.

"The expectation is that nearly all European companies will turn their back on business that is not compliant," Russell Hardy said in an interview with the Financial Times. "We think [Russia's] logistical solutions are growing, they're eating away at the problem. But whether or not they've eaten away at the whole problem we don't know."

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