India and China currently account for as much as 80 percent of Russian oil exports. The Asian market has been key for Moscow for a long time. However, Russia cut the discount for India by seven times, RIA Novosti reports.
About 40 million tons of oil and petroleum products were sent to the eastern market last year. Some of those raw material were resold in the European Union. Moscow strengthened its positions in the Indian market. India considerably increased its purchases of Russian raw materials, which caused prices to go up.
Russia reduced its oil discount to Indian refiners from $30 to $4 per barrel, The Times of India said.
"The love affair with Russian oil appears to be losing its charm for Indian refiners as discounts have shrunk to $4 per barrel from peaks of $25-30," the publication said.
Russia sells fuel to Indian refineries just below the price cap of $60 per barrel. However, Russia charges additionally (from $11 to $19 per barrel) for the delivery of oil from the Baltic and Black Seas to India's western coast.
"There is no reason for Russian suppliers to provide large discounts under such conditions. If Indian enterprises do not buy, other customers, such as China, will come to replace them," Leonid Khazanov, an independent industrial expert said.
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