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India’s Crude Oil Imports Hit a Record in 2017


Sep. 30 2019, Updated 7:00 p.m. ET

India’s crude oil imports

India is the world’s third-largest crude oil consumer. Its oil imports hit a record in 2017. India’s crude oil imports rose 1.8% to 4.3 MMbpd (million barrels per day) in 2017, according to Reuters. An increase in domestic demand led to the rise in refinery demand, which caused the rise in crude oil imports. India’s crude oil refining capacity increased to 5 MMbpd in 2H17. Any rise in crude oil imports from India is bullish for oil (UWT) (DWT) prices. It also benefits funds like the iShares Global Energy ETF (IXC) and the Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE).

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India’s oil consumption 

According to the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration), India’s oil consumption increased by 0.1 MMbpd to 4.9 MMbpd in December 2017—compared to the previous month. It also increased 12% from a year ago. Any rise in oil demand is bullish for oil (DWT) (UWT) prices. Higher crude oil (SCO) prices could have a positive impact on oil producers’ (XLE) (RYE) earnings like Goodrich Petroleum (GDP), Chevron (CVX), and W&T Offshore (WTI). 

India’s oil consumption estimates 

India’s oil consumption averaged ~4.6 MMbpd (million barrels per day) in 2017, according to the EIA. The EIA estimates that India’s oil consumption could average ~4.8 MMbpd in 2018. The IEA (International Energy Agency) estimates that India’s crude oil demand growth rate will be the highest by 2040. Energy consultancy FGE estimates that India’s crude oil demand growth will increase 4.3% in 2018.


Improving domestic oil demand and rising refining capacity will drive crude oil imports in 2018. Improving car sales will also support oil demand. High demand from India would have a positive impact on crude oil (SCO) prices in 2018.

Read Will US Oil Production Pressure Crude Oil Futures? and Bears Might Control the US Natural Gas Market in 2018 for updates on oil and gas.


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