The course of this last year has seen a fluctuation within fuel markets. Like many other countries, India has experienced similar trends.  

India’s crude oil imports from Russia fell in July for the first time since March. Meanwhile, its overall purchase of supplies from Saudi Arabia surged for the first in five months. 

This comes as a response to the hiking costs of Russian oil, as opposed to the relatively attractive prices of Saudi Arabian supplies

In a more general overview, India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer, shipped in 3.2% less oil in July at 4.63 million BPD from June.

More specifically, however, India shipped 877,400 barrels per day (BPD) of oil from Russia in July, a decline of about 7.3% from June. 

Recently, there have been opportunities for refiners in India to purchase discounted oil from Moscow––an availability which comes in response to Western reductions of imports in light of the Russian-Ukraine conflict.  

This has allowed India to also raise imports of Russia’s diesel-rich ESPO grade which could further dent the purchase of similar grades from west Africa. 

Though there was a noticeable decrease in imports, Moscow remained India’s second-biggest oil supplier after Iraq.

Conversely, India’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose by 25.6% to 824,700 BPD in July. This was the highest amount seen in three months. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia stayed at the No. 3 spot among India’s suppliers. 

Ehsan Ul Haq, an analyst with Refinitiv said, “Most refiners have term contracts with Saudi Arabia so they can adjust slightly but they cannot cut drastically…They might have used lower official selling price for June and July to meet their commitments under the term contract.” 

The share of Middle Eastern oil in India’s overall imports declined marginally in July. The nation cut purchases from Iraq by 9.3% from June to below the 1 million BPD mark for the first time in 10 months.

The share of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries in India’s overall imports also dropped in July from June, following on from the precedent set earlier in the year with purchases plunging since April.