Russia Finds New Buyers for Its Oil, But at a Big Cost

Russia Discovers New Oil Buyers But at a High Price
According to Bloomberg, Russian crude oil exports by volume have reached their highest level since the beginning of 2022 as a result of Moscow finding new customers outside of Europe as a result of Western sanctions brought on by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s oil income decreased by 2/3 in the same period. Western sanctions and a $60 per barrel price restriction on Russian oil that went into effect on February 5 are reducing the Kremlin’s income by making it sell at steep discounts.

“Overall seaborne exports increased by 180,000 barrels per day to reach 3.63 million barrels per day in the four weeks leading up to May 5, the highest level since the beginning of 2022, when Bloomberg started closely monitoring the flows,” according to the Bloomberg article.

Smaller quantities of the oil are being sent to Egypt and Turkey, with the majority going to China and India.

“In the four weeks leading up to May 5, shipments to Russia’s Asian consumers reached a new high of 3.37 million barrels per day, including those on boats with no final destination. That’s a daily increase of 124,000 barrels over the time up to April 28,” according to Bloomberg.

Before invading Ukraine in February 2022, Russia sent the European Union about 1.5 million barrels of oil daily. Western sanctions, however, have nearly completely eliminated that commerce.

The only EU nation that continues to acquire Russian crude oil is Bulgaria, which bought 83,000 barrels daily on average in the four weeks before May 5.

According to Stefan Legge, an economist at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, the Kremlin has been successful in locating new markets.

“Crude oil imports from Egypt and India have totally displaced Russian crude oil imports into the EU. As a result, Russia has discovered new customers, and the EU has also discovered new suppliers, Legge told VOA.

Russia’s finance ministry reported this week that despite finding new buyers, oil export revenues dropped 67% last month to $6.4 billion. From a year earlier, oil and gas earnings to the federal budget overall decreased 64% in April.

Legge claimed that “Russia is suffering.” “Yes, they have discovered new oil customers, however at a lesser cost. Russian crude is being traded at a comparatively cheaper than other types of oil. Additionally, the new customers lack the appeal of the previous ones.

According to Reuters, the average delivery time for new purchasers is 16 to 18 days, up from 4 to 6 days for exports to Russia’s European neighbors prior to the war. This is a significant increase.

“That has a negative impact on price, therefore costs will increase generally. When you consider the CO2 emissions, it is equally detrimental to the ecosystem. Vladimir Putin made a bet that the Western nations wouldn’t want to cover those expenses. However, as we have observed for, say, more than a year, Legge told VOA, “Western nations are willing to accept some of the burdens.

India is one of the allies the West is attempting to convince to import less Russian oil.

Legge said, “But of course, those nations are sovereign nations, and they have their own interests. “In a sense, you want to make Russia’s second-worst alternative worse. But as both history and current economic research indicate, that will only be partially successful.

Some Russian oil is still likely to enter European markets, according to analysts. Since crude oil can readily be mixed with other shipments in transit nations or at sea, it is challenging to track, and the intricacy of shipping firms and vessel flags makes it even more challenging to enforce sanctions. Russian crude.

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