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India's Fuel Exports Surged in November

India’s fuel exports rose in November from a month earlier as refineries ramped up crude processing while diesel demand for trucking was lower during the Diwali festival season. 

At the same time, imports of fuels into India fell last month compared to a month earlier, data from the country’s oil ministry showed on Friday.  

In November, India exported a total of 5.64 million tons of fuels, up from 4.47 million tons in October. Last month’s fuel exports from India were the second-highest volumes in the April-November period after August. 

The rise in fuel exports from India could be partly attributed to higher processing rates at domestic refiners and increased shipments to the EU in recent months after the bloc banned seaborne imports of Russian petroleum products from early February 2023.  

India’s fuel imports, on the other hand, fell to 4.15 million tons in November from 4.43 million tons in October, but they were still 3% higher than the imports in November 2022, the oil ministry data showed. 

Crude oil imports last month were slightly lower than in October, falling by 0.9%. 

Meanwhile, India, the world’s third-largest crude oil importer, has become a major customer of cheaper Russian oil after the EU banned crude imports from Russia in December 2022. 

China took in half of all the crude oil that Russia exported this year, with India a close second, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on state TV earlier this week. 

China now accounts for 45% to 50% of Russian oil and fuel exports, while India is taking in some 40%, Novak said. The increase is particularly remarkable for India, where Russia exported almost no oil whatsoever until 2022. Now, Russia is India’s leading supplier.

“If earlier we exported around 40-45% of our total crude oil and refined products to Europe, by the end of this year we expect this share to have fallen to 4-5%,” Novak said. 

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By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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