Weekly snapshot ‑ Russian fossil fuels 15 to 21 May 2023

Russian crude and oil products&chemicals revenues remain high but observe a slight drop in the most recent week compared to the beginning of May, as prices for crude remain stable and close to the price cap level of USD 60 per barrel. 

The amount of crude and oil products loaded on water continues to drop in the most recent week compared to the beginning of May. The volume of outgoing crude oil and oil products&chemicals shipments has fallen in recent weeks, indicating falling export revenues. The amount of LNG on water continues to rise, reaching the highest levels since the start of the invasion, signalling an ongoing glut. 

China was the largest importer of Russian fossil fuels, followed by Turkey between 15 and 21 May. India was the third largest importer followed by the EU and South Korea as the fourth and fifth. 

India overtook the EU to become the second largest importer of Russian fossil fuels since the start of 2023. 

In the week of 15 to 21 May, China imported crude oil, coal, pipeline gas, oil products&chemicals and LNG from Russia. Turkey imported mostly oil products&chemicals, crude oil, pipeline gas and coal too. India imported mostly crude oil and coal. EU imported pipeline gas, pipeline crude oil, LNG and oil products&chemicals. South Korea imported mostly crude oil but also coal. Oil product imports into the EU include imports into Bulgaria which are permitted under an exemption, as well as ship-to-ship transfers in Greek and Maltese territorial waters for which the ultimate destination is not yet known.

The largest port importing Russian oils was in Singapore, importing large quantities of oil products&chemicals and crude oil whilst the second largest port was in Turkey importing only oil products&chemicals. Two of the other top five ports importing Russian fossil fuels were in India, one in China, importing only crude oil.

The top EU countries importing Russian fossil fuels between 15 and 21 May were Hungary, Belgium, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria.

The share of tankers covered by the price cap in crude oil shipments out of Russia stayed around 55%. For oil products&chemicals, the coverage of the price cap coalition has fallen very slightly to around 60% from 65% the prior week. For crude oil, the coverage is relatively stable for shipments departing from Russia’s Baltic, Black sea ports and has slightly risen in Pacific ports compared to the earlier weeks in May. For oil products&chemicals, the coverage has fallen throughout the month of May. Urals crude prices remained below the price cap level of USD 60, after falling from April levels. The East Siberia–Pacific Ocean (ESPO) and Sokol prices, mainly applicable to Chinese and Japanese purchases, remain above the price cap level at around USD 64–67 whilst G7+ owned and / or insured tankers keep lifting Russian oil in Pacific ports.

Shipments in the last week

The weekly update of Russian fossil fuel exports was prepared by Isaac Levi, Energy Analyst, CREA; and Hubert Thieriot, Lead Data Scientist, CREA.

Note on methodology:
From 2023‑04‑03, our weekly snapshot values are no longer seasonally corrected, which may lead to some
disparities between the preceding and following reports. We have also adjusted our time frame to show totals
since the start of 2023 rather than the start of the invasion.
Dates featured are the date the arrival of the shipment was captured by our algorithm. 80% of arrivals for
shipments are found within 4 days of the arrival portcall 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: