Crude oil imports rise 5% in Sept

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 14 2009, 06:12am hrs
Indias crude oil imports increased for the second month in a row in September by about 1,30,000 barrels per day, or 5% compared to the previous month, to average 2.77 million b/d, which is 2,60,000 b/d higher against the year-ago imports. Indias crude imports during the first nine months of 2009 averaged 2.6 mb/d, only 1% higher than it was in the same period a year earlier.

Similarly, Indias oil demand grew 3.9% y-o-y in September, half of what was seen in the previous month. Contrary to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD), Indian oil demand is in line with the countrys gross domestic product. Several factors are pumping up the countrys oil usage this year. While strong new car registration is one of the reasons, low petroleum product prices, which have hiked transport and agricultural fuel usage, has been another decisive factor.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), in its monthly oil market report released on November 11, said the Indian economy has been slightly affected by the current financial crisis. Healthy GDP growth of 5.6% has helped oil demand to grow by 5%.

As a result of strong transport fuel demand, gasoline and diesel consumption increased, adding an average 40 tb/d to each in September. Indian oil demand is forecast to grow by 140 tb/d to average 3 mb/d in 2009.

Moreover, for the first nine months of 2009, India exported an average of 0.55 mb/d of products, down by 2,15,000 b/d, or 28% compared to average product exports of 0.76 mb/d during the same period a year ago. As a result, Indias net oil imports in September averaged 2.42 mb/d, an increase of 3% or 71,000 b/d compared to the previous month and 18% compared to the corresponding period last year. Indias net oil imports for the first nine months of 2009 averaged about 2.36 mb/d, a gain of about 5% over the same period last year.

According to the report, Indias product imports also increased in September by 63,000 b/d or 7% compared to the previous month to average about 0.24 mb/d, about 19% lower compared to the petroleum products imports a year earlier. For the second month in a row, there was no gas oil and gasoline imports in September. LPG imports in September averaged about 52,000 b/d, compared to 12,000 b/d the previous month and 89,000 b/d a year ago.

India imported an average of 47,000 b/d of naphtha in September, up from about 36,000 b/d the previous month but down from 1,46,000 b/d in September 2008. Fuel oil imports averaged 25,000 b/d, steady compared to the previous month, but up from 22,000 b/d a year earlier. Kerosene imports were about 20,000 b/d compared to 10,000 b/d the previous month and 1,02,000 b/d in the same month a year ago. For the first nine months of 2009, India imported an average of 0.3 mb/d of products compared to 0.43 mb/d during the same period a year earlier, indicating a 31% y-o-y decline.

On the export side, Indias total product exports of 5,91,000 b/d in September were 1,22,000 b/d or 26% higher compared to the previous month and 22% lower compared to a year earlier. Fuel oil exports in September averaged 78,000 b/d, down from 1,11,000 b/d the previous month and from 1,25,000 b/d a year earlier. Jet fuel exports were at 74,000 b/d, steady compared to the previous month and a year earlier. Gas oil exports in September surged to 2,06,000 b/d from 91,000 b/d the previous month, yet 28% lower than a year earlier. Gasoline exports averaged 59,000 b/d, steady compared to the previous month, but down from 1,19,000 b/d in September 2008. Naphtha exports were at 1,51,000 b/d in September compared to 1,24,000 b/d the previous month and to 1,95,000 b/d a year earlier.