(Bloomberg) -- Three tankers hauling Russian Sokol cargoes are anchored near Indian ports, indicating trade of the crude grade is returning despite complications caused by tougher US sanctions.

Indian refiners have become a major buyers of discounted Russian oil since the invasion of Ukraine, but have faced difficulties receiving the far-eastern variety amid tighter sanctions enforcement since late last year.

Some of those challenges are showing early signs of easing. Supertanker Nireta is anchored near Visakhapatnam on India’s east coast, while two other tankers — Vostochny Prospect and Erecter — are close to Jamnagar in the west, both signaling Sikka as their destination, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

Clyde Noble, another vessel filled with Sokol, is also currently en route to Sikka, Bloomberg ship-tracking data show.

By contrast, in the month to mid-January, 10 shipments of Sokol crude that were meant to arrive in India failed to discharge, with at least five vessels heading back through the Strait of Malacca, according to ship-tracking data. Further cargoes added to the backlog, which reached as much as 18 million barrels.

All of the Sokol cargoes loaded in March and most of those shipped in February have been delivered to China, but some of those earlier consignments are now finding their way back to India.

What’s changed is that Sokol is now being supplied by traders, rather than the producer, and the cargoes are offered at attractive discounts, resulting in a resumption of some flows to India, said refinery executives who asked not to be identified as the information is private. 

Still, it remains unclear whether issues surrounding the trade have been resolved or whether all four tankers will discharge their shipments at Indian ports this month. 

Vostochny Prospect’s registered owner and ship manager is stated as PJSC Sovcomflot, according to the Equasis international maritime database. Last month, all of India’s processors said they will refuse to take Russian crude carried on Sovcomflot vessels.

--With assistance from Rakesh Sharma.

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