India's crude oil import bill falls, but import dependency hits new high

India imported 232.5 million tonnes of crude oil; import dependence on crude oil increased to 87.7% in 2023-24

April 17, 2024 05:17 pm | Updated 06:11 pm IST - New Delhi

Data from the Oil Ministry showed that India paid $132.4 billion for oil imports in FY24.  File

Data from the Oil Ministry showed that India paid $132.4 billion for oil imports in FY24. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

India's crude oil import dropped 16% in the fiscal year ended March 31 due to lower international rates, but the dependency on overseas suppliers rose to a new high, official data showed.

India imported 232.5 million tonnes of crude oil, which is refined into fuels like petrol and diesel, in the FY 2023-24 (April 2023 to March 2024), almost the same as in the previous financial year. However, it paid $132.4 billion for the imports in FY24 as against $157.5 billion import bill in 2022-23, the Oil Ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) data showed.

Import dependence soared to 87.7% in 2023-24, up from 87.4%, according to PPAC. Domestic crude oil production was almost unchanged at 29.4 million tonnes in 2023-24.

Besides crude oil, India spent $23.4 billion on import of 48.1 million tonnes of petroleum products like LPG. It also exported 62.2 million tonnes of products for $47.4 billion.

Other than oil, India also imports gas in its liquid form, called LNG. After the price shock of 2022-23, import of 30.91 billion cubic meters of gas cost $13.3 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2024. This compared with $17.1 billion spent on the import of 26.3 bcm of gas in 2022-23 when energy prices shot up to record levels in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Net oil and gas import bill (crude oil plus petroleum product plus LNG import bill minus exports) stood at USD 121.6 billion in 2023-24, down from USD 144.2 billion.

India's fuel consumption rose 4.6%

Petroleum imports as percentage of India's gross imports (in value terms) stood at 25.1%, down from 28.2% in 2022-23. Similarly, petroleum exports as a percentage of the country's gross exports came at 12% in 2023-24 as compared to 14% in the previous year.

India's fuel consumption rose 4.6% to a record 233.3 million tonnes in the year ended March 31, 2023. This compared with 223 million tonnes consumption in 2022-23 and 201.7 million tonnes in 2021-22. While the country is short in crude oil production, it has a surplus refining capacity that can help export petroleum products like diesel.

Against the consumption of 233.3 million tonnes, petroleum product production was 276.1 million tonnes in 2023-24, PPAC data showed.

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