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Cheap Russian Oil Softens Inflation Blow For India

Amid skyrocketing inflation, India has increased its imports of Russian crude oil as other countries are attempting to fix the price to restrict Russia's oil revenues. 

"In a situation where global prices were going beyond anyone's affordability, at that stage to take a very strong political decision, I respect the Prime Minister for his courage on this to get it from Russia because they are ready to give it to you at discount. And how speedily did we manage to do it," India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday, according to Indian media reports. 

India has increased its Russian oil imports, Sitharaman said—up from 2 percent of its total oil imports before Russia's invasion of Ukraine to 12-15 percent. 

India's ratcheted-up intake of otherwise shunned Russian crude oil has placed India in the crosshairs of Western leaders who are cooking up a plan to restrict Russia's revenues that it could use to fund its "special military operation" in Ukraine. 

In July, Kpler data shows that India imported 666,000 bpd of Russian Urals—less than half of what China imported.

India has seized the opportunity afforded by cheap Russian crude to soften the blow of inflation for its citizens, Sitharaman said. 

I give credit to the statesmanship of the Prime Minister to make sure that we did keep our relationship with all countries but yet manage to get the Russian crude... Sanctions, sanctions but countries (including Japan and Italy, among others) are finding their own way to get that Russian fuel (crude, gas)… That also is a part of inflation management."

India relies on imports to supply more than two-thirds of its crude oil needs. India's retail inflation fell to 6.71 in July but was still above the 6 percent targeted comfort level set by its Reserve Bank.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Pri ghos on September 08 2022 said:
    India as a sovereign nation has the right to make decisions which are best for its own citizens. US has forced Iranian oil out of the market by threatening secondary sanctions on India. iranian oil is convenient for India due to low transport costs. it has also forced Venezuelan oil out of the market for which Indian refineries are specially suited. At this point India has had enough of US forcing various oil competitors out of the market. US wants India to buy US oil at inflated costs like the Europeans are doing. India is doing so to a certain extent but India has to also take care of its own voters so its going to buy Russian oil. The benefits outweigh any possible costs US could impose. Unlike Iran, Venezuela,China or Russia; US cant really take an openly hostile position against India. Far too much of the US economy and government is run by Indian origin folks. These Indan origin American citizens will be loyal as long as US is pursuing legitimate interests but if the US establishment tries to paint India as a villain illegitimately ,these people wont support it.

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