India cuts oil import bill to $9.3 billion and boosts volumes 6% YoY in August 2023, ET EnergyWorld

New Delhi: India’s net import bill for oil & gas for August 2023 fell to $9.3 billion as compared to $11.8 billion for the same month last year, according to the latest data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC). The decline comes despite a surge in international crude oil prices, indicating complex market dynamics at play.

In volume terms, the crude oil imports by India declined by almost 4 per cent MoM to 18.73 million tonnes (mt) in August. However, imports last month were higher on an annual basis by more than 6 per cent from 17.64 mt in August 2022.

Bill breakdown

The total value of crude oil imports in August 2023 was $10.9 billion, and LNG imports were valued at $1.3 billion. Offsetting these costs, exports during the same period accounted for $4.9 billion. While crude oil imports increased by 6.2% in August 2023 compared to last year, the April-August 2023 data shows a marginal decline of 0.6% in imports.

Crude calculations

According to PPAC data, the price of Brent Crude averaged at $86.22 per barrel (bbl) during August 2023, up from $80.05/bbl in July 2023. Meanwhile, the Indian basket crude price was $86.43/bbl for the month of August 2023, compared to $80.37/bbl in July 2023. Interestingly, both figures are significantly lower than their respective averages in August 2022, which were $99.99/bbl for Brent Crude and $97.40/bbl for the Indian basket.

Global context

The paradox of a declining oil bill in the face of escalating global crude prices can be traced back to a weak U.S. shale output and an unexpected draw in U.S. oil stockpiles, both factors contributing to heightened fears of tight crude supply throughout 2023.

On the international front, Brent crude futures are hovering at $94.40 a barrel, staying near the 10-month high of $95.96 hit on September 19. Similarly, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose to $91.49 a barrel, not far from a 10-month high.

  • Published On Sep 21, 2023 at 07:06 AM IST

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