The crude oil import bill nearly doubled to $119 billion in the fiscal year that ended March 31, as energy prices soared globally following the return of demand and war in Ukraine.
India, the world’s third largest oil consumer and importer, spent $119.2 billion in 2021-22 (April 2021 to March 2022), up from $62.2 billion in the previous fiscal year , according to data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Unit of the Ministry of Petroleum (PPAC).
It spent $13.7 billion in March alone, when oil prices hit their highest level in 14 years. This compares to spending of $8.4 billion in the same month last year.
Oil prices began to soar from January and rates broke through $100 a barrel the following month before touching $140 a barrel in early March. Prices have since fallen and are now around $106 a barrel. According to the PPAC, India imported 212.2 million tonnes of crude oil in 2021-22, up from 196.5 million tonnes the previous year. This figure, however, was lower than the pre-pandemic imports of 227 million tonnes in 2019-2020. Spending on oil imports in 2019-20 was $101.4 billion.
Imported crude oil is processed into value-added products like gasoline and diesel at oil refineries, before being sold to automobiles and other users.
India, which is 85.5% dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs, has excess refining capacity and exports some petroleum products, but lacks production of LPG cooking gas, which is imported from countries like Saudi Arabia.
The country consumed 202.7 million tons of petroleum products in 2021-22, down from 194.3 million tons in the previous fiscal year, but lower than the pre-pandemic demand of 214.1 million tons in 2019- 2020. Imports of petroleum products in fiscal year 2021-22 were 40.2 million tons worth $24.2 billion. On the other hand, 61.8 million tons of petroleum products were also exported for 42.3 billion dollars. with pti