The average landed price of Russian oil for Indian refineries in September eased from August, according to Indian government data, indicating widening discounts.

Spot discounts for Russian crude in September started to widen as Indian refiners reduced purchases due to high prices and maintenance outages, Reuters reported in August.

India bought Russian oil at an average price of about $81.7 per barrel, compared to about $86 per barrel in August, according to Reuters' calculations based on the latest data posted on the Indian Trade Ministry's website.

Refiners in India mostly buy Russian oil on a delivered basis, with sellers arranging for shipping and insurance.

India depends on imports to meet more than 80% of its overall oil needs and rarely bought Russian oil in the past due to high transportation costs.

But it has become the biggest buyer of seaborne Russian crude as western nations shunned purchases from Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The data does not specify freight, insurance and other charges paid by the refiners but the purchase price is significantly above the $60 per barrel price cap imposed by G7 nations.

Russian oil has mostly traded above the price cap since mid-July, as discounts narrowed due to output cuts by OPEC+ producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The average price paid by India for Russian oil in September was lower than for barrels from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which averaged $83.56 and $96.16, respectively, the data showed.

India imported about 1.42 million barrels per day (bpd) of Russian oil in September, down around 9% from August, while imports from Iraq rose by about 8% to 918,000 bpd, the data showed. (Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)