*India’s belatedly-released April crude import stats show that arrivals, at 4.29mn b/d, were well up on March’s 3.86mn b/d. But the Covid-19 pandemic continues to severely crimp demand: 4M 2021 volumes at 4.14mn b/d are down 13% (620,000 b/d) year-on-year.
*Top supplier Iraq has seen year-to-date volumes fall 14% to 918,000 b/d, though April saw a relatively buoyant 1.11mn b/d. Number two supplier Saudi Arabia has seen a 27% slump to 615,000 b/d including 674,000 b/d for April. This represents the continued impact of calls earlier this year from Indian politicians for the country’s refiners to curb purchases from the Gulf in general and Saudi in particular in response to what they regarded as Saudi-led actions to artificially support prices by restricting supplies. India’s February imports from Saudi, at 467,000 b/d, were a 10-year monthly low (MEES, 2 April). (CONTINUED - 656 WORDS)