New Delhi: Sharp rise in prices of crude oil in the international market and rupee appreciation have impacted India’s oil import growth which touched the lowest level of 5.33% in the last five years.
Oil imports, most of which comprises crude, were valued at $19.87 billion (Rs79,480 crore) between April and July 2007-08 against $18.87 billion for the comparable period of last year.
Growth of oil imports in the first four months of 2006-07 was a whopping 43.23%, 32.33% in 2005-06 and 61.90% in 2004-05, according to official figures.
Analysts do not agree that consumption of petroleum products would have slowed even when the economy is growing by over 9%.
“Domestic production has shown slight increase. Besides, rupee appreciation has made a difference and in value terms, there is a decline in growth,” Principal Energy Adviser, Confederation of Indian Industry V Raghuraman said.
Rupee has appreciated by about 10% in the last 11 months making the landed cost of imports cheaper.
With a large refinery and upstream processing capacity, India is importing crude oil not only for meeting the domestic demand of petroleum products but also for export of value-added products.
He said performance of value-added products would also have an impact on the growth of crude imports. Crude prices have risen to $74 a barrel, almost reaching a record high in the global market.