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India Top Buyer of Russian Urals Crude In August Despite Shrinking Discounts

Even as the price of Russian Urals rose throughout the month of August and discounts to Brent shrunk, India remained the top purchaser of the grade.

As the discount for sanctioned Russian Urals compared to Brent crude oil shrunk for August loading to just $5 per barrel or less, Indian refiners said the discount was no longer substantial enough to warrant the same volumes for September loadings. That discount was the smallest since Europe placed an embargo on Russian crude, Reuters said on Tuesday.

Discounts on Russian crude were as large as $30 per barrel following Russia’s invasion, and India took advantage of the heavy discounts, increasing its Russian oil imports to as much as 40% of its total, up from just 1% of its total prior to the invasion.

Russia has relied on Asian nations—including India—to purchase most of its crude oil that other nations have been shunning due to Europe’s embargo and the G7 price cap on Russian crude following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In fact, according to Reuters calculations of LSEG and traders’ data, India purchased 69% of all Russian crude oil coming from Primorsk, Novorossiisk and Ust-Luga. This is 74% of all shipments of Russian-origin crude oil, the calculations show.

In June, India did well for itself by saving money on the heavily discounted crude oil it received from Russia, getting crude oil that month for an average of $68.17 per barrel—that’s inclusive of freight, insurance, and other associated costs as well, whereas the price cap applies to just the cost of the crude.

What India paid in June at $68.17 per barrel compares to more than $100 they paid in June 2022.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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