Crude oil and fertilisers are the two key factors behind India’s rising imports from Russia. The West imposed sanctions on Moscow after the Russia-Ukraine conflict erupted, reducing its trading opportunities.
India negotiated a crude oil contract with Russia, seeing this as an opportunity to promote the sale of gasoline and diesel to nations like the Netherlands and Brazil. Riding the crude trade, Russia surpassed China to rank as India’s 20th largest importer in the most recent fiscal year. If the current rate of growth continues, Russia’s imports may reach $50 billion, falling just short of the number of products exported from the US, which is India’s third-largest source of imports.
In the first half of FY23, Russia surpassed other countries as India’s top supplier of fertilisers because of reductions in market rates. In the first half of the year, which began on April 1, India’s imports of fertiliser from Russia increased by 371 per cent to a record 2.15 million tonnes, according to the agency, which cited an anonymous senior government source.