Russian oil losing competitive edge in India as prices rise

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India’s crude oil imports from Russia in November were the costliest in a year, government data show, reflecting lowering discounts on the fuel.
Refiners in the world’s third-largest oil consumer paid an average of $85.90 a barrel for shipments from its largest supplier, up 1.8% compared with $84.46 in October.
Barrels from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, India’s second and third-largest suppliers, were $85.70 and $93.30 respectively in November, as benchmark prices declined.
Less attractive discounts, rather than payment bottlenecks, compelled refiners to seek alternative crude oil sources, India’s Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday.
While India’s imports from Russia rose 6.2% on month to 1.68 million barrels a day in November, those from Iraq grew by 21.4% crossing the 1 million mark for the first time since February, according to data intelligence provider Kpler.
Shipments from Russia to India fell to 1.48 million barrels a day in December, according to Kpler, as six tankers carrying the Sokol grade oil from the country’s Far East could not deliver due to tightening sanctions.

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