​Venezuela replaces Iran as India’s key oil supplier

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The latest shipping figures show India’s purchases of crude oil from Iran in June dropped drastically but instead increased significantly from Venezuela as well as Iraq and Egypt.  

Figures released by Reuters showed imports by India’s Essar refiner from Iran in June stood at 122,000 barrels per day (bpd), down 32 percent from May when purchases were an average of 180,000 bpd.

The decline in imports from Iran was largely offset by a huge rise in purchases from Venezuela. 

The Latin American nation, as Reuters figures showed, sold 137,000 bpd to Essar in June – up 107 percent from May (66,000 bpd).     

Egypt also sold 36,000 bpd of oil to Essar in June – up 106 percent from the month before when Cairo shipped only 17,000 bpd to India.

The largest increase was recorded in purchases from Iraq which sold the Indian refiner an average of 72,000 bpd – up 115 percent compared to May when shipment figures were 33,000 bpd.   

India, as Reuters figures show, is not buying any oil from Saudi Arabia – one of Iran’s biggest market rivals.  

India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had earlier said the country’s state refiners were planning to buy less oil from Iran in 2017/18 compared with the last fiscal year.

Pradhan was quoted by the media in New Delhi as informing lawmakers that Iran had offered a credit period of 60 days for oil purchases in the current fiscal year. In 2016/17, Iran had offered 90 days credit period.

The minister said state oil refiners import oil as per commercial and operational consideration. He did not elaborate further, based on a report by Reuters.

India’s state refiners have cut oil import plans from Iran by a quarter in the year to March 2018, sources earlier told Reuters.

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