India’s crude oil imports increased 121 tb/d or 3.7% in August, partially offsetting the decrease of the month before to stand at a level of 3.35 mb/d. The temporary retrieve was caused by crimped fuel demand due to monsoon rains. The increase in August was supported by the Indian refinery sector, which currently operates at the same rate of growth compared to the year before. However, maintenance work in some refineries has been announced for September, which will result in reduced imports of crude. India’s crude oil imports in the firsts eight months of 2011 were at 3.40 mb/d, 277 tb/d or8.8% higher than in the same period of the previous year.
Product imports declined for three consecutive months up to August by 9.2% or 30 tb/d to an average of around 287 tb/d. Despite the sharp increase of gasoline imports in August to 26.5 tb/d from 3.13 tb/d in July, the overall descent in product imports continued in August. However, India’s product imports remained above 250 tb/d, the lowest level from May in 2011. Compared to a year ago, July’s product imports were 10% lower this year. Diesel and naphtha were the main contributors to the decrease of around 84% and 43% respectively. Each fuel declined from July levels of 14.4 tb/d and 67.6 tb/d to a level of 2.4 tb/d and 38.49 tb/d in August. Imports of LPG and kerosene declined by 16.7% and 36.4% each from the month before to a level of 84.2 tb/d and 16.8 tb/d, respectively. Fuel oil stood steady at 21.7 tb/d in August.
India’s product imports in the first eight months were at 335 tb/d, which stood steady compared to the same period of the previous year. On the export side, products marginally increased by 7 tb/d or 0.6% compared to the month before to stand at 1.28 mb/d. The increase is slowly offsetting the sharp drop from this year’s high level of 1.43 mb/d in May. On a y-o-y basis, product exports increased 5.4% in August 2011. As a result, India’s net oil imports decreased 99 tb/d or 4.4% to average 2.35 mb/d but remained above this year’s lowest level in May of 2.10 mb/d.