The week of 09 to 15 January 2023, China overtook the EU as the largest importer of Russian fossil fuels. The top five other importers were the EU, India, Turkey and South Korea.
Oil product imports to the EU will be banned in Feb, and Germany, previously the largest pipeline oil importer, stopped imports at the end of the year.
China imported a mix of crude oil, coal, pipeline gas and oil products. The EU imported pipeline gas, oil products and crude oil via pipeline or rail. India’s imports were mostly crude oil. Turkey imported a mix of coal, oil products, pipeline gas and crude oil. South Korea’s imports consisted of coal, crude oil and oil products.
Four of the the top five ports importing Russian fossil fuels were in Asia, with crude oil dominating as the imported commodity. One of the top five ports was in Europe, importing oil products.
The top five EU importer countries last week were Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Crude oil shipments from Russia rose in the past week, with imports to Egypt and to unknown destinations on the rise. Shipments of oil products stayed rather stable.
The share of tankers covered by the price cap in crude oil shipments out of Russia has stayed at around 60%, while the share of “others” is around 40%. For oil products and chemicals, the coverage of the price cap coalition remains high at above 70%. These high shares illustrate the leverage the price cap coalition has to ratchet down the price cap.
There is a small decline in oil‑on‑water for crude oil. Oil products on water have not seen significant changes.
The glut of LNG cargoes continues with a collapse of EU LNG imports.
Urals crude prices remained below USD 50 per barrel, well below the price cap level of USD 60. However, the East Siberia–Pacific Ocean (ESPO) price, mainly applying to Chinese purchases, has remained above the price cap at USD 68–73.
Shipments in the last week
The weekly update of Russian fossil fuel exports was prepared by Meri Pukarinen, Europe-Russia Policy Officer, CREA; and Jan Lietava, Data Scientist/Engineer, CREA.