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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Russia Sends Record Volumes Of Oil To India, China

  • India and China have stepped up purchases and are importing record volumes of Russian crude.
  • some Chinese state giants haven’t ramped up imports of spot cargoes from Russia despite steep discounts.
  • China registered in April its first annual increase in crude oil imports.

While Europe shuns Russian oil amid sanctions and expectations of an oil embargo on Russian oil imports, India and China have stepped up purchases and are importing record volumes of Russian crude, according to data from energy analytics company Kpler cited by Bloomberg on Friday.  

Russia had up to 79 million barrels of crude either traveling on tankers or held in floating storage over the past week, Kpler’s estimates have shown. That’s more than double the 27 million barrels of crude Russia had seaborne in February, just before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Before the war, Russia was primarily selling its crude to Europe, but this is no longer the case after buyers, governments, international trading houses, and oil majors are all avoiding dealing with Russian oil, all the more so given the EU sanctions ban on bank transactions with the biggest Russian oil producers, including Rosneft. Trade majors have now wound down purchases of Russia’s oil.

But China and India aren’t shying away from Russian crude, although some Chinese state giants haven’t ramped up imports of spot cargoes from Russia despite the steep discounts at which Russian oil is selling.

In India, cheap Russian crude oil is attracting India’s price-sensitive buyers to the point that Russia became the fourth largest oil supplier to India in April, moving up from the 10th place in March, according to shipment-tracking data compiled by Reuters.

The significant increase in India’s purchases of Russian crude has already drawn the attention of the United States, which has reportedly sent a U.S. federal government official to discuss U.S. sanctions on Russia and try to convince India to reduce its purchases of Russian oil.

China, for its part, registered in April its first annual increase in crude oil imports since January as shipments rebounded on the back of higher arrivals from Russia, analysts say.

“Some of the interested buyers in Asia are more motivated by economics rather than taking a political stand,” Jane Xie, a senior oil analyst at Kpler in Singapore, told Bloomberg.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 27 2022 said:
    In fact China and India are competing with each other for Russian oil exports. This gives the lie to unsubstantiated claims that Russia will find it difficult to shift its oil exports from the EU to other markets. Moreover, the fact that China’s crude oil imports rose in April is a repudiation of repeated claims by short-sighted analysts and the hapless IEA that Chinese imports have been on the decline because of lockdown.

    The claim that buyers, governments, international trading houses, and oil majors are all avoiding dealing with Russian oil is a huge lie. If this was true, we would have seen Brent crude heading towards $140-$150 a barrel by now.

    Furthermore, an EU ban or Russian oil imports is looking unlikely because of a stiff opposition from Hungary. Moreover, every time the inept EU talks about banning Russian oil, Brent crude shoots up forcing the EU to pay higher energy bills while President Putin laughs all the way to the bank and the ruble goes from strength to strength.

    The rising purchases of Russian oil by China and India is a slap in the face of the United States. The US sent a Federal government official to India to convince it to reduce its purchases of Russian oil. It is like trying to convince the inconvincible.

    Furthermore, China’s increasing imports of Russian oil is strengthening its hand with Arab Gulf exporters when the time comes for it to insist on paying for its purchases in petro-yuan.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Anthony Maw on June 16 2022 said:
    The simple fact of the matter is that 1. money talks - Russian crude is cheaper than all other oil and 2. not everybody, especially non-European ancestry people, sympathizes the same way about Russia invading Ukraine. Yes it's a brutal war but in the end it's a war among white peoples.

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