India's April crude oil imports jumped to the highest level in six months, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed on Wednesday.
Crude oil imports into the world's third-largest consumer rose 14% in April from a year earlier to 19.72 million tonnes, the highest since October 2018, when imports were at a seven-year high of about 21 million tonnes.
April crude imports were also up 2% from March's 19.32 million tonnes, despite a decline in oil imports from Iran after Washington told buyers to end Iranian oil purchases from May or face sanctions.
India's oil imports from Iran had fallen about 57 percent year-on-year in April, according to tanker arrival data seen by Reuters.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia approached Indian buyers last month offering them additional supplies to compensate for lost Iranian oil after U.S. sanctions kicked in.
Diesel imports also surged to about 250,000 tonnes, the highest since July 2017. While monthly liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports fell more than 10%, but on a year-on-year basis they are up about 45%.
The country's demand for LPG had risen to a record in the fiscal year ended in March amid government measures to provide cleaner cooking fuel to rural households, and analysts expect consumption to keep rising.
Total imports of refined product decreased marginally, down by about 0.7% from a year earlier.
Total refined product exports products surged 17% last month year-on-year, the data showed. Exports were, however, down more than 19 percent from last month.