The Netherlands is currently the biggest buyer of Nigerian crude oil, overtaking India. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed the Netherlands bought Nigerian crude oil worth N2.5 trillion in the first nine months of 2023, while India’s imports were valued at N1.6 trillion, this marks a change in the dynamics of Nigeria’s export.
Indonesia purchased Nigerian crude worth N1.72 trillion, occupying the second position. While France purchase is worth N1.65 trillion as of September 2023.
Analysts have attributed these developments to sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, which have driven India’s refiners to snap up discounted Russian oil, leading to a decline in demand for Nigeria’s crude oil.
“Russian crude has found a welcome market in India, and unless stringent price-cap sanctions are rigorously enforced, which seems likely, India looks to continue buying and processing Russian crudes,” said Rajat Kapoor, managing director for oil and gas at Synergy Consulting.
Nigeria’s inability to fully exploit its crude oil resources at this crucial time has pushed India to seek cheaper crude oil supplies. This might be a dead end for the country, as head of research at Sofidam Capital, Luqman Agboola said: “The relevance of Nigeria in the international oil market is waning and Nigeria seems docile”.