India’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq hit the highest in more than a decade last month as OPEC’s top producers gained at the expense of Latin American crudes, a validation of the OPEC policy of maintaining output and fighting for market share.
Competitive prices and shorter shipping distances are giving the Middle East members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) the upper hand in India, the world’s third-largest crude oil importer.
Saudi Arabia was the top supplier to India in January, with volumes jumping 29 per cent from the same month a year ago to nearly 9,40,000 barrels per day (bpd), ship tracking data obtained from sources and data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research & Forecasts showed on Friday.
Just behind was Iraq at 9,30,000 bpd, up 52 per cent from January levels last year. The daily rates from both were at their highest since at least 2001, according to data available on the Thomson Reuters Eikon terminal.
In contrast, total imports from Latin America fell by a quarter in January from a year ago to 7,06,000 bpd, the data showed.