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Data reveals that India’s oil imports reached an all-time high in January due to delays in the Red Sea

Data reveals that India’s oil imports reached an all-time high in January due to delays in the Red Sea

In January, India experienced a surge in crude oil imports, reaching a monthly record, as the Red Sea shipping crisis led to delays in the arrival of cargoes from the Americas, according to data from trade sources. The world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer also marked a significant development by receiving its first shipment of Venezuelan oil in over three years, following eased sanctions by the U.S. on the South American producer. The data indicates that India’s oil imports in January reached 5.24 million barrels per day (bpd), marking a 17% increase from December and a 3.5% rise compared to the same month in the previous year. This surpasses the previous monthly high of 5.1 million bpd recorded in January 2018.

Although preliminary data from the oil ministry on Thursday indicated January oil imports at a 21-month high of 21.39 million metric tons (5.1 million bpd), trade estimates present even higher figures. The delays in oil cargoes from the U.S. and Latin America were attributed to an alternative route around the Cape of Good Hope following the Red Sea crisis. These delayed cargoes landed in late December or January.Some Indian refiners confirmed that certain cargoes scheduled for December were postponed until January, leading to additional charges for buyers due to sellers invoking a force majeure clause amid increased freight and insurance costs resulting from the Red Sea troubles.In terms of oil sources, India’s Russian oil imports rebounded in January to 1.47 million bpd, reflecting a growth of 10.8%. However, Russia’s share of the total declined to 28% from 30%, while Latin America’s share rose to approximately 8% from 6%, as Indian refiners turned to Middle Eastern suppliers to offset disruptions caused by delays and diversions.

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