Nearly one-fifth of the available monthly shipments of Siberian crude were reportedly sent to Indian refiners in August
India increased purchases of Russian oil in August, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing shipping data.
According to the report, six tankers loaded with Russian ESPO oil, a brand of Siberian crude, were on their way to Indian refiners last month. This accounts for nearly a fifth of the available monthly shipments of ESPO.
It was also the largest shipment of Russian crude to India “since the stream was introduced,” the news outlet said.
Analysts say the voyage to India will take longer for Russian tankers than to China, but the “shipments might continue as long as the price stays attractive and there aren’t real sanctions blocking the trade.”
India has been stepping up purchases of Russian oil since spring, when Moscow introduced discounts to attract new buyers after Western countries shunned Russian crude exports amid the Ukraine-related sanctions.
China has long been the main purchaser of ESPO, once buying nearly all available cargoes, but this could be changing now that India actively seeks new sources of oil to cover domestic demand. Also, Russian ESPO is cheaper than India’s traditional imports from the Middle East, and is likely to displace some flows from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, Bloomberg reports, citing traders and shipbrokers.
While India has been boosting purchases, the US has urged New Delhi to support a price cap on Russian oil. However, India has been reluctant to join the Western sanctions on Russia, placing domestic energy security above geopolitical tensions.
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