MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil processing by Indian refiners rose 6.4% year-on-year in March to 5.28 MMbpd (22.34 MMt), provisional government data showed, corresponding with a rise in consumption in the world's third biggest oil importer and consumer, reported Reuters.
India's fuel demand rose to a three-year high in March as the market accumulated supplies foreseeing price spikes while easing COVID-related curbs boosted demand.
With demand increasing, refiners are prompted to boost runs to meet demand, said Ehsan Ul Haq, an analyst from Refinitiv.
However, crude production fell over 3% to about 598,000 bpd (2.53 MMt), the data showed.
This was largely due to output from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation being 12.6% lower for the month and 1.84% lower versus March 2021 due to a delay in mobilization of the Mobile Offshore Production Unit Sagar Samrat, located in the Mumbai High Field, the release stated.
Annual oil imports in March marginally rose to 4.4 MMbpd from last year, tanker tracking data from industry sources showed.
As MRC informed earlier, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the country's top refiner, is currently facing unspecified issues at the upstream fluidized catalytic cracking unit (FCCU). Given the feedstock supply disruption, the producer plans to take its polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) plants offline on 25 April, 2022. Meanwhile, it is unclear on their restart schedule.
We remind that IOC will increase crude purchases from Iraq by 11.5% in 2022 to 390,000 bpd, partly to make up for a shortfall from Mexico and a possible supply cut from Kuwait. Iraq is the top supplier of oil to India and its market share there is set to rise as another refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. will also buy more crude from the Middle Eastern nation. India is the world's third biggest oil importer.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.