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Economy News _ Baghdad
Russian oil displaced the Iraqi oil of Basra from the lead for the seventh time in a row in terms of its oil exports to India last March.
Record high imports of crude oil from Russia in the 2022-23 fiscal year helped Indian refiners boost diesel and jet fuel exports to Europe as the continent shunned Russian products, according to preliminary ship-tracking data from Kpler and Vortexa.
Access to cheap Russian crude has increased production and profits at Indian refineries enabling them to competitively export refined products to Europe and gain a larger market share.
Kpler and Vortexa data showed that Indian refiners, who previously rarely bought Russian oil due to high transportation costs, imported between 970,000 and 981,000 bpd over the past seven months, which is more than a fifth of India's total imports.
The data showed that "imports from Iraq declined between 936 and 961 thousand barrels per day during the past seven months, from about one million barrels per day during the same period in 2021 and 2022."
While Russia's Urals make up the bulk of India's purchases, refiners also import lighter grades from Russia's Far East and Arctic such as Sokol Blend, Arko, Novy Port and Espoo.
Rosneft, Russia's largest oil producer (ROSN.MM), and major Indian refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC.NS) have signed an agreement to significantly increase and diversify the grades of oil delivered to India.
Kpler and Vortexa data showed that with Europe banning Russian products, Indian diesel exports to the continent rose 12-16% to 150,000 and 167,000 barrels per day in the last fiscal year.
Kpler data showed that the main European buyers of Indian diesel are France, Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The data showed that Europe accounted for about 50 percent of India's exports of jet fuel, or about 70 thousand to 75 thousand barrels per day in 2022/23, an increase of 40 thousand to 42 thousand barrels per day in the previous year.
However, India's total annual exports of refined fuels in 2022/23 were lower than the previous year as some refineries shut down their units for maintenance in the latter half of 2022.
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