Kuwait 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.
In the backdrop of the US refusal to extend the sanctions waiver for India to import crude from Iran, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has taken steps necessary steps to end the imports from Iran.
Even though India has urged the US to restore the sanction waivers it has decided to not to proceed with the purchase as the oil trade cannot happen in anticipation.
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has stated that a robust plan for an adequate supply of crude oil to Indian refineries is in place. It has been stated that shortfall will be met through alternate supply sources available in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Mexico.
Meeting the Shortfall
India which is the world’s third-biggest oil consumer meets more than 80 per cent of its oil needs through imports. In 2017-18, Iran was India’s third-largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and about 10 per cent of total needs were met through imports from Iran.
India can avail optional volumes (over and above the term contracts) from a number of suppliers which it can exercise to make up for any shortfall from Iran. India also plans to avail the route of spot market to source crude.
But the cause of concern is more related to prices in India. When President Trump had first pulled out of the nuclear deal, oil shot up to over USD 85 a barrel and it fell to near USD 50 after the US administration unexpectedly granted the waivers.