In July, India’s crude imports averaged 3.3 mb/d, 175 tb/d or 5.1% lower than the previous month, marking the lowest crude import level seen so far this year. At the same time, it reflects a minor gain of 0.7% from the same month a year earlier. In contrast, product imports saw an increase in both m-o-m and y-o-y terms of 12.5% and 3.7%, respectively.
The increase in product imports came mainly as a result of a rise in diesel imports in July, which registered a significant hike of 93% m-o-m and 100% from a year ago. The increase in diesel imports came on the back of farmers boosting diesel consumption to operate water pumps to compensate for the insufficient monsoon rains this season. India sells diesel at set state prices, cheaper than both gasoline and fuel oil. In terms of exports, Indian product exports increased in July by 98 tb/d or 8.6% to average 1.2 mb/d. This build came as exports of jet fuel, naphtha and fuel oil rose by 27%, 17% and 14%, respectively, while exports of diesel and petrol dropped by 3% and 5% from previous month. Consequently, India’s net imports declined by 235 tb/d to average 2.4 mb/d, 9% lower than a month earlier, yet 3.6% higher than the previous year.