India’s crude oil imports in June fell to their lowest in 9 months, as refiners curtailed purchases amid larger gasoline inventories attributable to low consumption and renewed COVID-19 lockdowns within the earlier two months.

The world’s third-biggest oil importer and shopper, India shipped in about 3.9 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude final month, about 7% down from May, however 22% larger from year-earlier ranges, tanker arrival knowledge obtained from commerce sources confirmed. India is the second main importer in Asia, after China, to put up a stoop in final month’s crude imports.

After an uptick in India’s gasoline demand in February and March, the nation’s refiners cranked up crude processing and oil imports, stated an Indian refining official who declined to be named as he’s not authorised to talk to media. However, gasoline demand fell sharply in April and May after the federal government imposed restrictions to curb a second wave of infections, leaving refiners with excessive gasoline inventories.

“We had enough inventory of refined fuel so there was little scope to raise crude imports,” the supply stated, including that exports have been unattractive as profits have been low.

Crude imports between April and June, nonetheless, rose 11.7% year-on-year to 4.1 million bpd because the lockdown curbs weren’t as extreme as final yr when COVID-19 first hit the nation.

Last month, Iraq stayed as the highest oil provider to India, adopted by Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates climbed 4 notches to emerge as third-biggest provider whereas Nigeria rose to No.4 from No.5 in May.

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