India’s imports of very-light grade base oils fell in August to the lowest in more than two years even with domestic diesel prices at a steep premium to base oils prices.
Base oils imports of less than 88,000t in August fell from close to 130,000t the previous month, provisional customs data showed.
The volume fell from typical levels of around 124,000 t/month over the previous year and accounted for most of the fall in India’s total base oils imports in August.
Imports of very light grades fell even with India’s retail diesel price premium to imported N70 cargo prices rising in July to close to $450/t, ICIS data showed.
The premium was the highest since early 2022 and held close to that level in August.
A wide diesel premium to base oils previously often coincided with higher imports of very-light grade base oils.
Imports fell this time because of a drop in shipments from South Korea and Qatar. The lower supplies countered rising flows from Spain and Saudi Arabia.