Shafaq News/ Iraq continued to be the top oil seller to India despite a 23% decline in purchases to a five-month low of 867,500 bpd, the data showed.
Iraq has reduced annual supplies of oil to several Indian refiners by up to 20% for 2021 as OPEC’s second-largest producer tries to meet its obligations under the group’s production deal.
The United States overtook Saudi Arabia as India’s second biggest oil supplier last month, as refiners boosted cheaper U.S. crude purchases to record levels to offset OPEC+ supply cuts, data from trade sources showed.
The switch in supplies, triggered by lower U.S. crude demand, coincided with Saudi Arabia’s voluntary extra 1 million bpd output cut on top of an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) to maintain lower production.
India’s imports from the United States - the world’s top producer - rose 48% to a record 545,300 barrels per day (bpd) in February from the prior month, accounting for 14% of India’s overall imports last month, the data obtained by Reuters showed.
In contrast, February imports from Saudi Arabia fell by 42% from the previous month to a decade-low of 445,200 bpd, the data showed. Saudi Arabia, which has consistently been one of India’s top two suppliers, slipped to No. 4 for the first time since at least January 2006.
India, the world’s third biggest oil importer and consumer, had repeatedly called on major oil producers to ease supply curbs to aid global economic recovery and had pointed to Saudi Arabia’s voluntary cuts for contributing to a spike in global oil prices.
It’s noteworthy that Iraq exports more than 65% of its crude oil to Asian countries, in particular to India and China.