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Russian crude oil exports by sea plunged by as much as 980,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the week to June 25, although the dip was much more likely due to maintenance at a key export terminal rather than the promised cut in Russia’s crude oil production.
Weekly crude shipments from Russia’s export terminals fell by nearly 1 million bpd to 2.55 million bpd in the week ending June 25, tanker-tracking data monitored by Bloomberg showed on Tuesday.
Crude oil shipments fell by around 263,000 bpd on a four-week average basis in the four weeks to June 25, and last week’s plunge compared to previous weeks is likely only temporary, according to the data analyzed by Bloomberg’s Julian Lee.
The biggest drop in the week to June 25 was seen at crude cargoes loading and leaving Russia’s Baltic port of Primorsk. The loading program at the port showed no cargoes were to load between June 21 and 25, which suggests that the fall planned, according to Bloomberg.
The weekly crude exports from Primorsk saw the same pattern of dipping shipments in the same week in the three previous years, which points to maintenance as the most likely reason for such a decline, Bloomberg’s Lee notes.
Therefore, Russia’s crude oil exports are likely to rebound this week and the following weeks, once again suggesting that even if Russia is cutting its crude oil production, it has not been evident in its crude exports by sea.
Russia’s crude shipments fell slightly in the four weeks to June 18, but were still 250,000 bpd higher compared to February, which serves as a baseline for the 500,000-bpd production cut Russia has promised this year.
Last month, reports emerged that Russian Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin sought to convince Western analysts in a rare call that Russia is indeed reducing its oil production.
Russia has stopped reporting oil production levels, and the market and analysts have to rely on vessel-tracking data, trade sources, and import statistics in China and India about the amount of Russian supply.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.