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India's import of discounted Russian oil on record high, oil climbs above $121 per barrel. Top 10 updates

India received 24 million barrels of Russian crude just this month, up from 7.2 million barrels in April and about 3 million in March, and is expected to receive about 28 million barrels in June, according to reports. (Photo: Reuters)Premium
India received 24 million barrels of Russian crude just this month, up from 7.2 million barrels in April and about 3 million in March, and is expected to receive about 28 million barrels in June, according to reports. (Photo: Reuters)

  • India received 24 million barrels of Russian crude in May, up from 7.2 million barrels in April and about 3 million in March, and is expected to receive about 28 million barrels in June

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India received 34 million barrels of discounted Russian oil since Moscow invaded Ukraine, according to Reuters report citing Refinitiv Eikon data. This has trebled the value of total imports from Russia, including other products, compared with the same period of 2021. 

India received 24 million barrels of Russian crude just this month, up from 7.2 million barrels in April and about 3 million in March, and is expected to receive about 28 million barrels in June, according to reports.

Here are the top updates on this big story:

  • It is important to note that the volumes of India's seaborne oil imports from Russia exclude CPC Blend oil, which is also exported via Russia's Black Sea port, but mostly supplied by Kazakhstan's subsidiaries of western countries as transit volumes.
  • India's oil imports from Russia have been rising since February, as Asia's third largest economy and the world's third biggest oil importer, turned to deeply discounted Russian oil, mostly Urals crude, to cut its imports bill.
  • Rising energy imports helped push India's total goods imports from Russia between February 24 and May 26 to $6.4 billion, compared with $1.99 billion in the same period last year, according to reports.
  • Notably, India's exports to Russia, however, fell nearly 50% to $377.07 million over that period, as its government is yet to set up a formal payment mechanism.
  • This development comes comes following the West responding to the invasion with a barrage of sanctions and India coming under fire for its continued purchases of Russian energy. New Delhi has brushed off the criticism, saying those imports made only a fraction of the country's overall needs and has said it will keep buying "cheap" Russian oil, arguing a sudden stop would drive up costs for its consumers.
  • Additionally, oil prices climbed above $121 a barrel on Monday, hitting a two-month high as China eased Covid-19 restrictions and traders priced in expectations that the European Union will eventually reach an agreement to ban Russian oil imports, according to Reuters.
  • Trading activity was muted due to a public holiday in the United States. The Brent crude futures contract for July, which will expire on Tuesday, settled up $2.24, or 1.9%, at $121.67 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.99, or 1.7%, to $117.06 a barrel at 18.03 GMT, extending solid gains made last week.
  • Meanwhile, the EU is meeting on Monday and Tuesday to discuss a sixth package of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special military operation."
  • EU countries failed to agree on a Russian oil import ban despite last-minute haggling before the summit got under way in Brussels. But leaders of the 27 EU countries will agree in principle to an oil embargo, a draft of their summit conclusions showed, while leaving the practical details and hard decisions until later.

(With inputs from agencies)

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