India’s crude oil imports continued to decline for the third consecutive month in August, with a 3.9 percent month-on-month drop to 18.73 million metric tons, as reported by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC).
This decline was attributed to scheduled refinery maintenance and decreased imports from Russia. According to LSEG analyst Ehsan Ul Haq, the maintenance activities at refineries were a predictable cause of the reduction in imports.
Additionally, higher prices for Russian oil may have also played a role in the decrease. However, there is optimism that demand could rebound during the festive season. Despite the drop in imports, India has been experiencing strong factory activity, which helped boost fuel consumption in August, offsetting the typical monsoon-related slowdown.
The oil price surge, nearing $100 a barrel, is influenced by factors such as reduced U.S. shale output and continued production cuts by major oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia, contributing to expectations of tightened supply.