India, which usually imports about 80 per cent of its needs from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has been diversifying its sources of oil as local refiners have upgraded plants to process cheaper crude grades.
India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer, shipped in 4.56 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in October, about 3.3 per cent less compared with a year ago, data showed. Of that, it bought 3.43 million bpd from OPEC.
OPEC’s share of India’s imports in September was about 81 per cent although total volumes were lower, as the South Asian nation cut imports to a three-year low due to maintenance at some refineries.
OPEC oil output dipped to an eight-year low in September after attacks on Saudi oil plants led to production cuts, a survey by news agency Reuters showed. The kingdom’s output has since recovered.
In October, Iraq replaced Saudi Arabia as India’s top oil supplier, tanker arrival data showed, with refiners cutting purchases of the more expensive Saudi oil.
Sources who supplied the data asked not to be named.
“Saudi had raised its official selling price (OSP). That led to some buyers migrating to Iraqi and other producers,” said Ehsan Ul Haq, an analyst with Refinitiv.