New Delhi: India’s crude oil imports went down by 8.3 percent during April 2023 as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, government data showed. In April, India imported 19.8 MMT of crude oil in comparison to 21.6 MMT of crude oil in April 2022. The total import bill for crude oil in the month of April 2023 stood at USD 10.8 billion, down from USD 16.8 billion recorded in April 2022. Month-on-month, India’s crude oil import has witnessed a decline of 3.41 percent. India had imported 20.5 MMT crude oil in March this year, for which it paid USD 11.6 billion. An analysis of historical data for the previous financial year showed that this is the biggest year-on-year decline in a month in crude oil imports in a year.
The Central government is pushing state-run oil companies to increase domestic production of crude oil and gas in order to substitute imports. Amidst a recovery in crude oil demand in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and production cuts announced by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), India has been struggling to shield its consumers from the price rise in international crude oil markets, taking hits to its revenue collection year after year. Therefore, national oil companies have been asked to increase their production in order to maximise crude oil output before energy transition kicks in and reduce the import bill.
India’s LNG import bill stood at USD 1.4 billion in April, up from USD 1.3 billion in the corresponding month of the previous financial year. In volume terms, India imported 2,213 MMSCM of LNG in April, down from 2,078 MMSCM in the corresponding month of the previous financial year.