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India's oil import bill up 15%

July 07, 2004 13:14 IST

The increase in volume coupled with firm international oil prices led to a 15 per cent jump in India's oil import bill in 2003-04, the pre-Budget Economic Survey said on Wednesday.

"The spurt in oil imports by 26 per cent in 2002-03 was contributed more by increase in international crude oil prices (around 20 per cent) than by enhanced volume of imports (3.2 per cent).

Economic Survey 2003-2004: Complete Coverage

"By contrast, in 2003-04, the volume impact (11.3 per cent) dominated with average already-high international crude oil prices rising further on an annual average basis by 5.4 per cent," the Survey tabled in Parliament said.

Crude oil and petroleum product import bill grew to Rs 93,159 crore (Rs 931.59 billion) in 2003-04 over Rs 85,042 crore (Rs 850.42 billion) in the previous year as the refiners resorted to heavy exports of refined petroleum products.

India exported 14 million tonnes of petroleum products for Rs 16,101 crore (Rs 161.01 billion) in 2003-04 as compared to 10.28 million tonnes exported the previous year for Rs 10,868 crore (Rs 108.68 billion).

The net oil import bill (import minus exports) was Rs 77,058 crore (Rs 770.58 billion) in 2003-04 as against Rs 74,174 crore (Rs 741.74 billion) in the last year.

The Survey said in absolute terms, the average global crude oil prices increased from $23 per barrel in 2001-02 to $27.6 per barrel in 2002-03 and further to $29 per barrel in 2003-04.

Rising demand, lower than normal fuel inventories and rising concerns about the security of Middle East supplies contributed to the hike in prices.

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