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EU buying Russian fuels through India – Reuters

France, Türkiye, Belgium and the Netherlands are the key buyers of diesel processed in India, the outlet says

Indian refineries have ramped up diesel and jet fuel supplies to the EU after Russian oil imports to the country surged to record levels in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing preliminary ship-tracking data from Kpler and Vortexa.

The outlet suggests that the EU has been using India as a “back door,” given the sharp increase in New Delhi’s imports of Russian oil since the bloc banned crude from the sanctioned country. 

In 2022-2023, Indian refiners bought between 970,000 and 981,000 barrels of Russian oil per day, accounting for more than a fifth of the country’s overall imports, which were between 4.5 million and 4.6 million barrels per day (bpd), Kpler and Vortexa data showed. 

Discounted crude from Russia allowed Asian processing plants to boost production and sell oil products to the EU at a competitive price.

According to Kpler, India supplied an average of 154,000 barrels of diesel and jet fuel per day to the EU prior to the conflict in Ukraine. Volumes surged to 200,000 bpd after the EU imposed an embargo on imports of Russian petroleum products in February, the data showed.

India’s diesel exports to Europe jumped by between 12% and 16% to 150,000-167,000 bpd in the last fiscal year as Western customers avoided Russian products, bringing New Delhi’s export share of the fuel to 30% up from 21-24% a year earlier.

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Indian imports of Russian oil skyrocket – official

According to Kpler, Europe accounted for about 50% of India’s jet fuel exports with France, Türkiye, Belgium and the Netherlands among the top European consumers of diesel refined in the Asian country. 

The development comes as Russian energy major Rosneft and the Indian Oil Corporation signed a deal to “substantially increase” the supply of crude oil to India and diversify its grades. 

India, the world’s third-largest crude importer, began to boost purchases of Russian oil shortly after the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions.

Russia now covers 35% of India’s total oil imports, up from less than 1% in 2021. The figures show that in March oil deliveries from the sanctioned country surged for the seventh consecutive month, making Russia a top supplier to India.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

April 07, 2023 at 12:12PM
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