• At $4.3 bn, imports from Russia jump nearly 7 times in June: Govt data

    India imported goods worth $4.23 billion in June from sanctions-hit Russia, up 6.8 times as compared to last year, as demand for shipments of crude oil grew at the fastest pace during the month.

    Crude oil worth $3.02 billion was imported in June, which translates into a share of 71 per cent of the total imports from Russia, commerce and industry ministry data showed.

    Similarly, during the April-June quarter, India’s imports from Russia were valued at $9.27 billion, up 369 per cent on year. Crude oil comprised almost two-thirds of imports from the nation. Other major imported items from the country included coal, soybean and sunflower crude oil, fertilisers, among others.

    Russia’s prominence as India’s trading partner has been growing since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, following which it faced economic sanctions from the Western nations, leaving the world grappling with challenges on several fronts, including disruption in the global food production system, sharp jump in commodity prices, especially for oil and natural gas.

    India’s rising dependence on crude oil from Russia comes in the backdrop of the sanctions-hit nation offering discounted oil. In the April-June quarter, Russia became the third largest crude oil supplier to India, after Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and ahead of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has also been India’s key oil supplier.

    With a share of only 1.2 per cent of India’s total trade during the 2021-22 financial year, Russia’s share has grown to 3.1 per cent during the April-June quarter of the current fiscal year. The country was India’s seventh largest trading partner in the quarter-ended June, driven by a sharp jump in imports.

    Despite pressure from Western nations, prominently the US and the European Union, India did not pick a side and chose to maintain a neutral stance considering its historical relationship with Russia. India, on various global forums, has been defending its stand.

    On Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar again defended India’s decision to buy discounted Russian oil, saying many suppliers have diverted their supplies to Europe, which is buying less oil from Russia. “It is a situation today where every country will try to get the best deal possible for its citizens, to try to cushion the impact of high energy prices. And that is exactly what we are doing… I have a country that has a per capita income of $2,000. These are not people who can afford higher energy prices,” Jaishankar said at the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting.

    He added that it was the government’s “obligation” and “moral duty” to ensure that the people in India get the “best deal”.

    Outbound shipments to Russia fell to $190.55 million in June, down by 23 per cent year-on-year. However, exports to Russia have been picking up gradually since May, after nosediving to $79 million in March.

    Top items exported to Russia during the month include electrical machinery and equipment, iron and steel, pharmaceutical products, marine products, automobile components.

    (Source: Business Standard)

    Russia’s Sibur steps up LPG ship-to-ship transfers to serve Asia

    August 19, 2022: Russia’s largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exporter, has stepped up ship-to-ship (STS) transfers at European ports to create larger cargoes that mean it can make money on sales to Asia, according to traders and Refinitiv Eikon data.

    Sibur used to supply most of its LPG to the European market. But since spring, demand for its products in northwest Europe has fallen due to Western sanctions against Russia’s financial sector, which have complicating dealings with the country’s energy companies, and so-called self-sanctioning by EU buyers.

    Neither Sibur, nor Russian LPG generally, is subject to Western sanctions, but European customers have cut back purchases, leading the company to look for buyers elsewhere.

    STS operations help Sibur reload LPG from standard gas tankers carrying 10,000-12,000 tonnes to VLGC (very large gas carriers) that can carry about 50,000 tonnes of LPG.

    Shipping higher volumes helps Sibur offset higher costs for delivering the product to Asia, making profits closer to what it used to make in northwest Europe, traders said.

    In July, Sibur supplied four cargoes of 11,000 tonnes each from Russia’s Ust-Luga port to an STS facility in Rotterdam, from where it shipped the product on VLGC Eiger Explorer with 44,000 LPG onboard to Singapore, according Refinitiv Eikon data.

    Late in July, Sibur also supplied four 11,000-tonne cargoes from Ust-Luga to the Dutch port of Vlissingen, where the product was also moved ship-to-ship to the tanker Gas Alkhaleej for delivery to India’s Mundra, according to Refinitiv data.

    Both shipments were carried out by trading firm Trafigura, traders said.

    Trafigura said it “continues to engage with customers and governments to understand their requirements and provide the commodities and energy they need in severely disrupted commodities markets”, but declined further comment.

    Sibur didn’t answer a Reuters’ request for comment.

    Share This