India-Saudi Arabia Current Affairs - 2019
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According to data released by Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), Iraq remains India’s top crude oil supplier for second year in a row.
Key Highlights of India’s Oil import Data
- India is world’s third largest importer of crude oil (7% of total crude oil imports) after China (world’s largest importer with 20.2% of total crude oil imports) and USA (13.8%).
- India’s crude oil imports meets 80 % its oil needs.
- Total Import: India imported 207.3 MT (Metric Tons) of crude oil in 2018-19, down from 220.4 MT in 2017-18. This increased India’s total crude oil import bill by 40.6% i.e. to $86.9 billion as compared to $61.8 billion from previous year.
- Iraq: one of largest producers of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is India’s top crude oil supplier for past two years. It meets more than 20% of India’s oil needs in 2018-19 fiscal year by selling 46.61 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil to India.
- Saudi Arabia: largest producer of OPEC has traditionally been India’s top oil import source, but in 2017-18 fiscal year it was dethroned by Iraq for the first time. In 2018-19, Saudi exported 40.33 mt of crude oil to India. Amid restrictions on Iranian crude oil exports, India’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia jumped 53% 3.02 MT in December 2018.
- Iran: the Persian Gulf nation was third largest crude oil supplier to India even when India stopped importing from Iran following re-imposition of economic sanctions by US. It sold 23.9 mt of crude in 2018-19, up from 22.59 mt in the 2017.
- UAE: surpassed Venezuela to become India’s fourth-largest crude supplier. It sold 17.49MT of crude oil to India in 2018-19.
- Venezuela: is one of top five crude oil suppliers to India. But volume of crude sourced from Venezuela has been erratic due to ongoing political and economic crisis and under-investment in sector which is impacting it’s production.
- Nigeria was next biggest supplier with 16.83MT of exports in 2018-19.
- Other Countries: Kuwait supplied 10.78 MT of crude oil and next to it was Mexico which supplied another 10.28 MT.
- United States: It first began selling crude oil to India in 2017 is now fast becoming a major supplier. Supplies from U.S. jumped by more than four times in 2018-19 fiscal year.
Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics (DGCI&S)
- It is a premier organization of Govt. of India attached to Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- Its office is located at Kolkata. It is entrusted with collection, compilation and publishing or dissemination of India’s trade statistics and commercial information.
- Such information is often required by policy makers, researchers, importers, exporters, traders and even overseas buyers.
India and Saudi Arabia held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India. The joint statement issued on the sidelines of the bilateral meet between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlights the following:
- Affirming that extremism and terrorism threaten all nations, India and Saudi Arabia rejected any attempt to link this universal phenomenon to a particular race, religion or culture.
- Without naming Pakistan the joint statement said that nations should renounce the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
- Constitution of a ‘comprehensive security dialogue’ at the level of national security advisor and setting up of a joint working group on counter-terrorism.
- Saudi Arabia reiterated its commitment to meeting India’s growing needs for crude oil and petroleum products and substitute for any shortages that may arise as a result of disruptions from other sources without naming Iran.
- Saudi Arabia also increased India’s Haj quota by about 25,000. India’s Haj quota now stands at 2 lakh.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated that Saudi Arabia has already invested $44 billion in India since the PM’s visit in 2016 and they see an investment opportunity of worth $100 billion in sectors like energy, petrochemicals and manufacturing.
Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman condemned the recent terrorist attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.