Hit by collateral sanctions, Russia’s oil exports shift to Asia

Shunned by European and US buyers, Russian oil exports are shifting towards Asia, diverting shipments, according to data compiled by real-time energy cargo tracker, Vortexa.

A month since the Russian war on Ukraine began, Western economic sanctions on the Russian government and oligarchs started to impact outgoing oil shipments.

The most significant effect so far is the shift in destinations for Russian Black Sea and Baltic Sea crude, the data by Vortexa has shown.

Russia's exports to Europe have fallen by around 280,000 barrels per day from March 1-22, down to 1.3 million barrels daily. Exports to Asia, however, historically not a regular buyer of Russian Baltic and Black Sea crude, went up 220,000 barrels per day over the same period.

Asia's share this month reached 25%, the highest since April 2020.

China and India have become two major buyers of these exports as Russian oil supplies account for 5% of Asia's total imports.

The data revealed that in February, 5.6 million barrels per day of Russian seaborne crude and products, or 73% of the total, were exported to nations that Moscow has since deemed "unfriendly."

Importers of Russian crude include almost all of Europe, as well as the US, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.

Around 1.4 million barrels per day are estimated to be lost for March-loading cargoes, according to the data.

The main impact of the decreasing amounts of Russian exports is expected to reflect further in the coming weeks, while exports to Asia are forecasted to rise steadily.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Russia is the third-biggest oil producer in the world and the largest oil exporter.

However, the IEA forecasts Russian oil output may drop by 3 million barrels per day starting next month.

Source: Anadolu Agency