India's oil imports: Prices ease but under-recoveries stay high
MUMBAI: India imported crude oil in the first week of June 2012 at a price lowest in last four months as international crude oil prices softened. Nevertheless, non-revision of domestic fuel prices means the industry continues to lose Rs 457 crore daily, which is quite high. The data compiled by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) shows that the cost of India's crude oil basket fell to $98.5 in the first week of June 2012 after staying above $100 for more than six months.
However, a depreciation in rupee meant that India's cost of imports in rupee terms at Rs 5480 per barrel stood lowest only since February 2012. After reaching a peak of Rs 6230 per barrel in March '12 the cost of crude has gradually declined to Rs 6110 in April and Rs 5906 in May.
Although the petroleum companies raised petrol prices recently, the industry continues to suffer heavily from under-recoveries on diesel, LPG and kerosene. These under-recoveries are estimated at Rs 457 crore per day for the first fortnight of June '12, down 11.3% from Rs 514 crore per day of May '12. At this rate, the total under-recoveries for the remaining 10 months of FY13 would amount to Rs 137,100 crore. If we add the under-recoveries for the two months April and May that are already over, the whole year's under-recoveries would amount to nearly Rs 170,000 crore.
India imports 83% of its crude oil requirements annually. India's provisional crude oil import during 2011-12 stood at 172.11 million tonne. This was 5% more than the crude oil import of 163.59 MMT in 2010-11. A total of 204.8 MMT crude oil was processed by Indian refineries in 2011-12 against 196.5 MMT in 2010-11.