German imports of refined oil products from India have surged by over 1,100 percent in the first seven months of the year.
Official data released on Tuesday revealed a remarkable surge in Germany’s imports of refined oil products from India during the first seven months of the year, AFP reported.
These imports, totaling 451 million euros ($480 million), are believed to be primarily derived from crude oil originating from sanctions-affected Russia.
The astounding increase of over 1,100 percent, compared to the 37 million euros spent over the same period the previous year, was reported by Germany’s national statistics agency, Destatis.
This twelve-fold rise in imports comes as a consequence of India’s emergence as a significant buyer of Russian crude following the start of the Ukraine war in February 2022.
According to Destatis, the petroleum products exported by India to Germany were primarily gas oils used for the production of diesel or heating oil. These products, it emphasized, are derived from crude oil, and the United Nations Comtrade database indicates that India has been importing substantial quantities of crude oil from Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine.
Western countries, including the European Union (EU), imposed a series of sanctions on Russia in response to the war. Among these measures was an EU embargo on seaborne oil deliveries from Russia.
Additionally, the EU, in collaboration with its G7 partners, instituted a price cap of $60 per barrel for Russian crude destined for export to other parts of the world. This pricing mechanism allowed India to purchase discounted Russian crude, refine it, and subsequently offer it to European customers.
While these transactions remain within the bounds of legality, critics contend that they constitute a circuitous route for Russian oil and erode the effectiveness of the sanctions, which were designed to deprive Moscow of revenue to sustain its war effort.
EU’s Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, acknowledged the dilemma posed by these circumstances in a blog post in May, stating, “We in the EU don’t buy Russian oil, but we buy the diesel obtained by refining this Russian oil somewhere else. This has the effect of circumventing our sanctions.”
The surge in German imports of Indian refined oil products underscores the complex web of economic interdependencies amidst international sanctions and geopolitical tensions. As the situation continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how nations and global organizations will navigate these challenges to achieve their policy objectives.