Weekly snapshot: Russian fossil fuel exports 16 to 22 January 2023

The week of 16 to 22 January 2023, the EU was the largest importer of Russian fossil fuels. The top five other importers were China, India, Turkey and South Korea.

The EU imported pipeline gas, oil products and LNG, as well as crude oil via pipeline or rail. China imported a mix of crude oil, coal and pipeline gas. India’s imports consisted of crude oil and coal. Turkey imported a mix of coal, crude oil, oil products and pipeline gas. South Korea’s imports consisted of coal and crude oil.

Four of the the top five ports importing Russian fossil fuels were in Asia, with crude oil and coal as the imported commodities. One of the top five ports was in Europe, importing LNG.

The top five EU importer countries last week were the Netherlands, Slovakia, Germany, Belgium and Italy.

The value of crude oil shipments from Russia rose in the past week, with an increase in shipments to unknown destinations – these could be unsold cargoes still looking for buyers or ships that are not declaring their destination. The value of shipments of oil products stayed rather stable. The volume of Russia’s seaborne oil shipments has recovered to the level preceding the EU ban, but the value is still down significantly due to the fall in prices for Russian oil. The increased volume highlights the importance of lowering the price cap to prevent Russia from reaping excessive profits to fund the invasion of Ukraine.

The share of tankers covered by the price cap in crude oil shipments out of Russia has stayed above 60%. For oil products and chemicals, the coverage of the price cap coalition remains high at around 75%. These high shares illustrate the leverage the price cap coalition has to ratchet down the price cap.

The share of oil-on-water for crude oil has stayed rather stable. Oil products on water have seen a small dip. The glut of LNG cargoes continues.

Urals crude prices were just above 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 73–75.

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.