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India’s Crude Oil Imports Surged in January

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India’s crude oil imports

India is the third-largest crude oil consumer in the world. India’s crude oil imports increased 12.5% to a record high of 4.93 MMbpd (million barrels per day) in January 2018—compared to the previous month. The imports increased 13.6% from a year ago.

US crude oil prices hit a three-year high on January 26, 2018, due to record imports from India and China, supply cuts, and strong oil demand. Brent and US crude oil prices have risen more than 40% since June 21, 2017. The United States Brent Oil ETF (BNO) and the United States Oil ETF (USO) follow Brent and WTI crude oil futures, respectively. BNO and USO have risen ~49% and ~41%, respectively, since June 21, 2017.

The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) and the iShares Global Energy ETF (IXC) have risen ~6.2% and 11.2% since June 21, 2017. These ETFs have exposure to oil and gas companies.

Drivers of India’s crude oil imports

India’s crude oil imports rose due to the rise in demand and expanding refinery capacity. Imports also rose due to upcoming spring maintenance at India’s refineries.

India’s oil consumption estimates 

India’s oil consumption averaged ~4.6 MMbpd in 2017. Oil consumption could average ~4.8 MMbpd in 2018, according to the EIA. Energy consultancy FGE estimates that India’s crude oil demand growth could increase 4.3% in 2018.

Impact 

Improving domestic oil demand and rising refining capacity will drive crude oil imports in 2018. High demand from India would have a positive impact on crude oil prices in 2018.

Read Global Oil Supply Outage and Libya: Rise in Global Oil Supplies? and Hedge Funds’ Net Long Positions in US Natural Gas near 2018 High for the latest updates on crude oil and natural gas.

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