India’s crude oil imports in January 2022 slide from one-year highs

India’s crude oil imports in January slipped from one-year highs hit in the previous month, though fuel demand is expected to recover as several states ease coronavirus restrictions after a decline in cases, Reuters reports.

Crude oil imports fell about 1.7 per cent to 19.26 million tonnes last month from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday. Lower imports corresponded with the country’s oil demand falling 0.2 per cent on an annual basis in January.

January crude imports decreased by about 2.6 per cent from the previous month but were 2.9 per cent higher from pre-pandemic levels of December 2019.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its monthly report said Indian oil demand is projected to increase by 320,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2022, which would surpass the 2019 rate by 40,000 bpd, with LPG/ethane, gasoline and naphtha rising the most.

Oil product imports rose 12.4 per cent to 3.43 million tonnes from a year earlier in January, while exports jumped 14.4 per cent.

Refiners in Asia are waiting to resume imports from Iran amid hopes of an agreement to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. A refiner from India is in talks with Iran for sourcing its oil, an Indian refining source revealed to Reuters.

India’s oil imports from Iraq surged to a 29-month high last month, data from shipping and industry sources showed. January 2022 oil imports of India’s Reliance Industries, owner of the world’s biggest refining complex, jumped about 8.3 per cent from December.

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