Refined Russian petro goods imports rise 14% in May

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India’s import of refined products from Russia increased by 14% sequentially in May, while that of crude remained flat.Import of refined products increased to 164 thousand barrels per day (TBD) in May from 144 TBD in April on higher imports of naphtha, which more than tripled to 77 TBD, according to energy cargo tracker Vortexa.Fuel oil and naphtha are the key refined products that India imports from Russia, said Serena Huang, an analyst at Vortexa.State-run refiners, who account for about a third of the refined products imported from Russia, brought in 77% more Russian products in May. India’s imports of Russian products in May were 30% lower than China’s and 70% lower than Europe’s. In the same month, China’s import of Russian products was down 37% sequentially to 238 TBD while that of Europe was 12% higher at 548 TBD. Before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2022, India imported little refined products or crude oil from Russia. But imports of both crude and products rose sharply after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.India is a heavy importer of crude but a net exporter of refined products. It mainly exports diesel, petrol and jet fuel while importing LPG, fuel oil and bitumen.In May, India imported 1.7 million barrels per day of crude from Russia, 1.5% lower than the volume in April. On the other hand, Russia’s share in Indian imports marginally declined to 37.9% in May from 38.1% in April.”Russian crude remains attractive to Indian refiners, amidst tight Middle East sour crude supplies.

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