MOSCOW (MRC) -- Turkey doubled Russian Urals oil imports in the first half of May versus the same period of April, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and Reuters calculations, as the country profits from cheap crude that is sanctioned by the West.
Some 193,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the Russian grade were loaded for supplies to Turkey's ports during May 1-15 compared with 96,000 bpd during the same period of April, the data shows.
India remains the main importer of Urals oil loading from Russian ports this month, buying more than 50% of the volumes so far, while China remains in the second place. Chinese refiners have been increasing their buying of Urals and are expected to ramp up purchases this month.
Russia's oil exports from its Western ports are expected to reach a four-year high this month, while lower global oil prices are keeping Urals below the price cap imposed by some Western countries and attracting buyers worldwide.
Turkey, which remains the only major importer of seaborne Urals in the European region after an EU embargo, has bought 153,000 bpd of the grade loading so far this year, according to Refinitiv Eikon and Reuters calculations. That is unchanged from the same period of 2022.
Turkey's ability to import Russian oil is limited by its refining capacity and competition with refiners in India - the main importer of seaborne Urals cargoes since last year, two traders said.
One of the traders added that Turkey's refiners experienced several issues with payments for Russian oil. Though Istanbul didn't join Western sanctions on Moscow it's companies are integrated in the international financial system and work with major Western banks.
We remind, Germany's Schwedt oil refinery will run at 70% of capacity from June, German state secretary Michael Kellner said on Friday as he greeted a tanker arriving at the Gdansk terminal in Poland with non-Russian oil en route to the refinery. Schwedt was operating at 50-60% capacity earlier this year after Germany stopped oil supplies from Russia because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.