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India's oil minister says Saudi Arabia to supply LPG in coming days

Dubai — India, the world's second largest importer of LPG after China, will receive supplies of the fuel from Saudi Arabia in the next few days to meet local needs, petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Sunday.

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Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman had a video conference call with Pradhan and Aramco CEO Amin Nasser. The prince gave his assurance that India will have "LPG supplies in the coming days to support our domestic requirement," Pradhan said in a tweet.

Saudi Arabia is a major supplier of oil and other products to India, Asia's third largest economy, which is currently under lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak and is expected to see an uptick in LPG demand.

India imported 14.538 million mt of LPG in 2019, up 19.22% year-on-year as demand outpaced production growth.

Consumption for 2019 was 26.944 million mt, up 7.93% year-on-year, while production over the same period grew at a slower pace of 0.28% to 12.77 million mt.

The annual growth in India's 2019 LPG imports exceeded the industry's growth projection of 17% due to the country's general elections in 2019, which spurred substantial stockpiling ahead of the polls in April-May 2019.

The year 2019 also witnessed India starting to import LPG from the US, as mid-September attacks on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities prompted Saudi Aramco to delay or defer LPG term loadings to state-run Indian importers for October. As a result, India imported 1.573 million mt of LPG in September 2019, a record high, according to the data.