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Reliance Industries makes a rare purchase of Russian naphtha and increases fuel oil imports.

According to trade flows data from Refinitiv, India's Reliance Industries, operator of the world's largest refining complex, is snapping up Russian refined fuels, including rare purchases of naphtha, after some Western buyers stopped Russian imports.
Reliance Industries makes a rare purchase of Russian naphtha and increases fuel oil imports.

Western sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine have resulted in the emergence of rare trade routes for Russian crude and refined products, which are primarily sold to European countries.

According to Refinitiv data, India imported approximately 410,000 tonnes of naphtha, which is used to make petrochemicals, in September and October.

According to the data, Reliance received approximately 150,000 tonnes from the Russian ports of Ust-Luga, Tuapse, and Novorossiysk during the two months.

In 2020 and 2021, the private refiner did not purchase Russian naphtha. According to the data, it only imported one parcel of Russian naphtha per year from 2014 to 2019.

The data showed the panamax carrier Okyroe sailing towards India with approximately 59,000 tonnes of Russian naphtha on board.

“With European countries closing down Russia, they need to find outlets for their naphtha,” an Indian trader said, referring to Russian firms.

According to two Asian naphtha traders, Russian naphtha is being sold at lower premiums to countries such as India.

IMPORTS OF FUEL OIL INCREASE
Reliance, with two plants capable of processing 1.4 million barrels of oil per day, has emerged as a key buyer of Russian oil since Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine in February.

It also purchases straight run fuel oil from countries such as Iraq and Russia to process at cokers in two refineries in the western Indian state of Gujarat to increase refining margins.

Reliance’s fuel oil imports from Russia have risen to a record 3 million tonnes since the start of the fiscal year in April, compared to about 1.6 million for the entire fiscal year 2021/22, according to Refinitiv data.

According to the data, Reliance is expected to receive approximately 409,000 tonnes of fuel oil in December.

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