India, the world's third-largest crude importer after China and the US, has been buying Russian oil.
India's imports from Russia doubled to USD 20.45 billion during the April-July period of this fiscal due to increasing inbound shipments of crude oil and fertiliser from that country, according to the commerce ministry data.
With this, Russia has become India's second-largest import source during the first four months of this fiscal.
The imports were USD 10.42 billion during April-July 2022.
From a market share of less than 1 per cent in India's import basket before the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russia's share of India's oil imports rose to over 40 per cent.
India, the world's third-largest crude importer after China and the United States, has been buying Russian oil that was available at a discount after some in the West shunned it as a means of punishing Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.
The ministry's data showed that imports from China dipped to USD 32.7 billion during the April-July period as against USD 34.55 billion in the same period last year.
Similarly, imports from the US declined to USD 14.23 billion during the period under review from USD 17.16 billion in April-July 2022. The imports from UAE too contracted to USD 13.39 billion during April-July 2023 as against USD 18.45 billion in the same period last year.
On the export front, India's exports to seven of its top 10 destinations have recorded a negative growth rate during the period.
During the first four months of this fiscal, the country's merchandise exports to the US, UAE, China, Singapore, Germany, Bangladesh and Italy have dipped.
However, exports to the UK, Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia have recorded positive growth.
India's exports contracted by 15.88 per cent, the sixth month in a row, to USD 32.25 billion in July this year due to a global slowdown and fall in shipments of key sectors like petroleum, gems and jewellery.
Imports during the month also declined by 17 per cent, the eighth month in a row, to USD 52.92 billion from USD 63.77 billion in July 2022. This led to a narrowing of the trade deficit to USD 20.67 billion against USD 25.43 billion in July 2022.
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