According to three insiders, IndianOil in June became the first state oil refiner to pay for some of its Russian purchases in Chinese currency.
Indian refiners have started paying for part of their oil imports from Russia in Chinese yuan, Reuters reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
“Some refineries are paying in other currencies, such as the yuan, if the banks are not willing to settle operations in dollars,” an Indian government source said.
According to three insiders, IndianOil in June became the first state oil refiner to pay for some of its Russian purchases in yuan. In addition, Bharat Petroleum, another state-owned refiner, is also studying paying Russian oil in yuan.
Also, at least two private Indian oil refineries also pay part of Russian imports in yuan, other sources said.
A person familiar with the matter clarified that “the first preference is to pay in dollars, but refiners sometimes pay in other currencies, such as dirham and yuan, when sellers ask them to.”
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India reported that throughout the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which ended on March 31, “Russia’s share of India’s oil imports shot up to 19.1% from 2.0%“. Thus, during the past fiscal year, Moscow exported to India, the world’s third largest oil importer and consumer, 50.84 million tons of oil.
Meanwhile, the director of the Indian state company ONGC, Arun Kumar, declared that the Asian country plans to increase up to a 30% the share of Russian oil in its imports for the period 2023-2024.
- Indian refiners increased purchases of Russian hydrocarbon after Moscow diverted their supplies to Asia following sanctions imposed by the West in retaliation for its special military operation in Ukraine.
- In a recent interview, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak indicated that Russia plans to supply more than 50% of its oil to the Asia-Pacific region by 2023.