Weekly snapshot ‑ Russian fossil fuels 13 to 19 March 2023

The week of 13 to 19 March 2023, the EU fell to the fourth place as an importer of Russian fossil fuels, with China, India and Turkey making up the top three and The United Arab Emirates at the fifth place. This illustrates the EU sanctions are biting.

China’s imports consisted of crude oil, coal and pipeline gas. India imported crude oil, coal and oil products & chemicals. Turkey imported oil products & chemicals, pipeline gas, coal and crude oil. The EU imported pipeline gas, pipeline crude, LNG and oil products & chemicals. The UAE imported oil products & chemicals and crude oil.

Three of the top five ports importing Russian fossil fuels were in China, one in India and one in the UAE. Crude oil and oil products & chemicals dominated as the imported commodity.

The top EU importer countries last week were Slovakia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Malta and France.

Russia’s revenues from crude oil shipments were relatively stable last week after climbing in March, with volumes picking up in March. The revenues from oil products & chemicals seem to also have picked up.

The share of tankers covered by the price cap in crude oil shipments out of Russia was close to 60%. For oil products & chemicals, the coverage of the price cap coalition was above 70%. The shares of ownership and insurance of vessels carrying Russian crude and oil products & chemicals within the price cap coalition are much higher for shipments departing from Russia’s Arctic, Baltic and Black sea ports, but much lower for shipments departing from Pacific ports.

The amount of oil-on-water for crude oil seems to decrease after a rise, as did the amount of oil products & chemicals on water. The LNG glut seems to start easing after a wild rise earlier in March.

Urals crude prices were around USD 55 per barrel, remaining below the price cap level of USD 60. The East Siberia–Pacific Ocean (ESPO) price, mainly applying to Chinese purchases, has plummeted from USD 72 to around USD 60.

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.

Note on methodology:
Dates featured are the date the arrival of the shipment was captured by our algorithm. 80% of arrivals for shipments are found within four days of the arrival port call in the specific port. For our oil products and chemicals commodity group, please note this contains a wider range of items than just those specified in the current sanctions, as of 2022‑02‑05. More information at: