India’s imports from Russia witnessed a more than three times jump to $4.67 billion compared to last year since the Ukraine conflict began on February. The rush in shipments from Russia is thanks to New Delhi’s efforts to hit good deals with Russian suppliers to tide over a expanding shortfall of crude oil and other inputs like coal and fertilizers.
In Between February 24 to May 8, India’s purchases of crude oil from Russia raised 393% to $1.86 billion, while those of petroleum products moved 175% to $560 million. Similarly, imports of coal, coke and briquettes, etc, soared 277% to $630 million, and fertilizer purchases saw a multi-fold jump to $376 million from $43 million.
Three-quarters of the electricity manufactured in India uses coal and the country imports just under a quarter of its annual consumption of the raw material. Similarly, fertilizer imports from Russia, too, may continue, as crisis-handle Ukraine, another supplier to India. The government, too, is looking to keep local supplies stable ahead of the Kharif season.
However, Indian exporters haven’t yet been able to supply much to Russia in the wake of the war, as shipping lines are resistant to take bookings to and from Russia. This has hit the dispatches of dry cargo, said trade sources. Exports of drug formulations and biological’s decreased 41% to $60 million, while those of bulk drugs and intermediates eased 19% to $17 million between February 24 and May 8.
Marine product exports slipped 91% to just $2 million; telecom instrument shipments decreased 20% to $32 million; and iron & steel shipments jumped 56% to $14 million. India’s exports to Russia hit $3.3 billion in FY22, while its imports stood at $9.79 billion, said one of the sources. New Delhi’s trade deficit is all set to broaden in the current fiscal year.