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India Paid 16% Less for the Same Amount of Oil in FY 2023-24

India’s crude oil imports remained flat in the fiscal year 2023/2024 ended March 31, but the import bill of the world’s third-largest oil importer fell by almost 16% due to lower oil prices and record-high imports of cheaper Russian crude.  

Indian crude imports stood at 232.5 million metric tons in the 2023/2024 fiscal year, only marginally lower compared to the 232.7 million tons in imports in the previous fiscal year to March 31, 2023, data from the Indian Oil Ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed.

While volumes were essentially unchanged, India’s spending on crude oil imports dropped by 16%, to $132.4 billion in 2023/2024, down from the $157.5 billion import bill for the 2022/2023 fiscal year, according to the data.

That was mostly due to the lower prices in 2023/2024 compared to the previous fiscal year, and to record-high volumes of cheaper Russian crude making its way to India for most of 2023.   

OPEC was estimated to have held a record-low share of India’s oil imports between April and September 2023, as the world’s third-largest crude importer more than doubled purchases of Russian crude.

In the first half of 2023/2024, Russia held a 40% share of Indian crude oil imports, while the share of OPEC exporters slumped to a record low of 46%, according to a Reuters analysis of data going back to 2001/2002. In the April-September period of 2022, OPEC’s share of Indian oil imports was 63%.

In the 2023/2024 fiscal year, India’s dependence on oil imports grew to a new high – the share of imports of consumption rose to 87.7%, up from 87.4% in the previous fiscal year, the provisional government data showed.

India’s fuel demand rose by nearly 5% in 2023/2024.                                                                                     

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India’s oil demand jumped to an all-time high in February 2024, contributing to global oil demand rising by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in February from January, to hit a five-year seasonal high, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Wednesday. In February, India’s total product demand rose by 265,000 bpd to an all-time high of 5.59 million bpd.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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