December 7: India and China have emerged as the largest buyers of Russian oil after Western nations decided to restrict purchases and impose sanctions on oil imports following Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to the BBC, a plan by the major G7 economies - backed by the EU and Australia - to cap the price at which Russian oil is bought has created uncertainty in global markets.
And as major oil-producing nations seek to maintain global prices by controlling output, Russia has been offering its oil at a discount to willing buyers in Asia, added the BBC.
“India's imports of Russian oil have risen from a very low base at the start of the year reaching a peak in June and July, and largely maintaining these levels through to November. China's purchases of Russian oil have fluctuated this year, falling in February at the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but then rising significantly in the following months.”
Russia has been selling oil at a discounted rate since March this year after the Ukraine invasion, BBC wrote in a news report published on its website on Tuesday.
In March, combined oil imports by China and India from Russia overtook those from the 27 EU member states. From late November, there appears to have been a renewed surge in oil purchases by India, the news report added.
“Experts suggest that if oil supplies continue at the same levels in December, Russia could become India's largest single supplier. Other countries have also taken advantage of discounted Russian crude - for example Sri Lanka, which has been grappling with a severe economic crisis. Pakistan has also been negotiating with Russia to purchase discounted oil, although no deal has yet been struck.”
According to the BBC, the Indian government has defended its purchases from Russia, saying it has to source oil from where it is cheapest.
The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is the main supplier of petroleum product to Nepal but it is not certain whether the IOC will slash the fue prices for Nepal or not.