India imported a fourth straight record of 2.102mn b/d of crude from Russia in May, freshly released official data indicate. This is slightly higher still than the shipping-based figure indicated by data intelligence firm Kpler (MEES, 9 June). Kpler is currently indicating a slight easing to 2.00mn b/d for June, still the second highest figure on record. Russia’s 40% share of India’s total May imports of 5.216mn b/d was also a record.

At an average of 1.77mn b/d for 5M 2023 Russian volumes are up more than sevenfold year-on-year. In contrast, for former number one Iraq volumes are down 15% at 1.017mn b/d for 5M 2023 (and 952,000 b/d for May), with former number two Saudi down 7% at 842,000 b/d for 5M 2023 with a 20-month low 636,000 b/d for May. With Russian volumes, having been displaced from Europe, pressuring key Gulf suppliers in their core Asian markets, both Saudi and Iraq have been shipping bumper volumes in the other direction (MEES, 30 June). (CONTINUED - 164 WORDS)