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Russia’s Oil Exports to China and India Surge

Russia has increased significantly its crude oil exports to China and India this year, with volumes to China hitting 100 million tons annually, or around 2 million barrels per day, Nikolay Tokarev, the head of Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, told Russian media on Wednesday.

“Export volumes to China and India have increased significantly; many times over. I can say that about 70 million tonnes of oil were supplied to India this year, while about 100 million tonnes of oil went to China,” Russian news agency Interfax quoted Tokarev as saying in an interview with state television Rossiya 24.

According to the Transneft executive, Russia sent crude to new markets this year.

“New markets have appeared: Egypt, Morocco, Myanmar, Pakistan. I can list many more,” Tokarev said.

China and India have become the key export outlets for Russia’s oil this year after the EU embargo on Russian crude and products and the G7-led price caps, above which Western insurers and financiers are prohibited from offering services for the shipment of Russian oil. Both China and India saw their respective imports of crude from Russia hit a record high at some point in 2023.

In November, Russia remained China’s top crude supplier, with Beijing importing around 2.2 million bpd of Russian oil last month, per Chinese customs data cited by Reuters.

Between January and November, China’s imports of Russian crude oil jumped by 22.2% compared to the same period of 2022, according to the data.

India has also become a top buyer of Russian crude oil alongside China since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the embargoes and price cap the EU, the U.S., and the G7 imposed on Moscow in an attempt to stifle Putin’s oil revenues.

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Indian imports of Russian crude hit a four-month high last month, at 1.6 million bpd, according to data Reuters has obtained from trade sources. The November imports were 3.1% higher than India’s intake of Russian crude in October and accounted for more than a third of all Indian crude oil imports last month. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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