India’s Oil Imports In May Decline By 31 Percent, Lowest In Over Eight Years

India imported 3.18 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in May, a decline of about 31% from April and about 26% from a year ago.

Hit by an unexpected fall in demand due to lockdown measures to contain the novel coronavirus, Indian refiners in April filled tanks with cheaper oil, sold extra cargoes to the federal government for strategic reserves and declared force majeure on crude imports.

India’s oil imports from Iraq fell by 43% to about 554,000 bpd, the lowest since Oct 2016, as per the data compiled by Reuters.

The intake of Venezuelan oil in May fell to the lowest since June 2011. Reliance Industries, operator of the world’s biggest refining complex, received 2 million barrels of oil from Venezuela.

Oil from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a share of India’s imports fell to an all-time low of 71.3%, while the share of U.S. oil hit a record high of nearly 8% in May.

India’s oil imports in June are set to recover as refiners have raised crude processing and demand is recovering with the gradual resumption of transport and industrial activity.