Saudi crude oil shipments to India surge 60%


Saudi Arabia cemented its position as India’s top crude oil supplier in February, exporting 60% more crude than it did in February 2015 and 24% more than January, and leaving rival Iraq far behind, according to latest shipping data obtained by Platts and cFlow, Platts trade flow software.

Saudi supplies to India came in at 4.43 million mt (1.12 million b/d) in February, compared with Iraq’s 3.27 million mt, which was up 192% year on year but down 7.5% from January.

The wide gap between Saudi and Iraqi supplies is in contrast to their position in January, when they almost supplied the same volumes and in December, when Iraq overtook Saudi Arabia to become India’s top crude supplier.


India has become an attractive market for suppliers given its strong oil demand growth rate and refining capacity expansion plans.

Indian refiners are being wooed by almost all Middle East suppliers with more market engagement and flexible import terms.

India imported 713,126 mt of crude oil from Iran in February, up 86% year on year, but down 30.5% from January, the data showed.


India’s total crude imports rose 29.7% year on year in February to 17.04 million mt (4.30 million b/d), the shipping and cFlow data showed. February crude imports were up 4.4% from January.

According to official data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, India imported 16.88 million mt (4.27 million b/d) of crude oil in February.

PPAC, which is part of the oil ministry, relies on information from oil companies to calculate the total crude oil import figure for a given month, while the shipping and cFlow data is based on crude tanker arrivals at Indian ports.

PPAC does not release data on India’s crude oil imports by source. India’s crude oil imports in the first two months of the year rose 8.5% year on year to 33.36 million mt, shipping and cFlow data showed.

Saudi supplies to India rose 35.8% year on year to nearly 8 million mt in January-February, and Iraqi supplies rose 76.7% year on year to 6.8 million mt.

Source: Platts

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