India saved approximately $2.7 billion in the first nine months of 2023 by importing discounted Russian oil, Reuters reported on Nov. 8, citing Indian government data.
The South Asian country replaced Europe as the main buyer of Russian seaborne crude, Reuters noted, as the West is seeking to wean itself off Russia's supplies following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
India imported almost 70 million metric tons of Russian oil from January to September, an equivalent to 1.85 million barrels per day, the country's Commerce Ministry data shows.
The comparably cheaper average price of Russian supplies for that period – $525.60 per metric ton, including shipping and insurance – allowed New Delhi to decrease imports from the Middle East.
For example, the price of Iraqi oil of comparable quality averaged at around $564.46 for the January-September period, Reuters noted. By replacing Iraq with Russia as the leading oil source, India saved around $2.7 billion for the first nine months of this year, the news agency's calculations show.
Following Western sanctions on Russian oil, Moscow has been shifting focus to other markets like India, offering its supplies at a reduced cost. However, October saw the level of Indian imports decrease somewhat, as the discount levels began to even with other suppliers.
Oil prices are expected to rise as Russia and Saudi Arabia, another major exporter, said they will restrict their crude output until the end of the year.