You are here: Home » Reuters » News
Business Standard

Indian oil imports from Iran surge to highest since 2016

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's imports from surged to about 705,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May, their highest level since October 2016, according to data from shipping and industry sources, despite the threats of fresh U.S. sanctions.

From June India's imports from could drop because at least two refiners -- accounting for about 35 percent of Indian refining capacity of around 5 million bpd -- are preparing to curb purchases under pressure from the U.S. sanctions.

On May 8 Donald Trump said that the was pulling out of a 2015 international nuclear deal with and would impose new sanctions seeking to reduce the country's shipments.

India's from Iran in May rose by 10.2 percent from the previous month and were about 45 percent more than a year ago, the data showed.

Iran's hit 2.7 million bpd in May, Iranian agency SHANA reported this month, representing a record high since the lifting of international sanctions on in 2016.

Indian had cut from Iran in the 2017/18 financial year because of a dispute over development rights for a

However, the refiners had drawn plans to raise imports in the current fiscal year from April after Iran agreed to steep shipping discounts.

India, the world's third-biggest and consumer, is Iran's second-biggest customer behind

Nayara Energy, formerly known as and in which Russia's holds a majority stake, has started reducing Iranian from this month, sources said. In May Nayara was the biggest Indian buyer of Iranian oil, receiving more than 200,000 bpd, the data showed.

Reliance Industries, owner of the world's biggest refining complex, is preparing to halt imports of Iranian oil from October or November, sources said.

India's last week said the country has adopted a "wait and watch" policy pending clarity on the impact of U.S. sanctions.

In the first five months of 2018 imported 583,500 bpd from Iran, about 6.5 percent more than a year ago, data from the sources showed. The sources declined to be identified because they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Iran remained the third-biggest to last month behind and Saudi Arabia, the data showed, with the having replaced as the fourth-biggest supplier.

Overall, imported 4.34 million bpd in May, about 2.8 percent higher than a year ago.

The U.S. sanctions on Iran's petroleum industry will take effect after a 180-day "wind-down period" ending on Nov. 4, but many European refiners and Asian buyers are already winding down Iranian

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by David Goodman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 12 2018. 20:18 IST