MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asian countries remain the lead destinations for Russian vacuum gasoil (VGO) and fuel oil exports after the European Union's embargo, traders said and Refinitiv data showed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
"Pretty stable flows for refining and bunkering", one trader said. According to Refinitiv data, China and India, which became main importers of embargoed Russian oil, were respectively accounting for about 2.6 million tons and 2.1 million tons of exports of dirty oil products from Russian ports since the start of the year, buying fuel oil and VGO for further processing at their refineries.
Singapore and Malaysia also hit the top five destinations for fuel oil and VGO of Russian origin with almost 3.5 million tons in total, while Turkey and Saudi Arabia received about 1.6 million tons each, Refinitiv data showed. Fujairah, key transit and blending hub for oil products in the United Arab Emirates, accepted almost 1.4 million tons of fuel oil and VGO since the start of this year.
In February 2023, the EU introduced a full ban on supplies of Russian oil products, but Russian fuel oil and VGO had already been diverted elsewhere as restrictions were applied partially in August 2022. Asia and the Middle East and also ship-to-ship (STS) loadings became the most popular ways to bypass sanctions since then.
STS loadings near the Greek port of Kalamata have attracted from Russia the biggest dirty oil products volumes, which surged to 8 million tons in 2022 and totaled almost 2.7 million tons from the beginning of 2023. Traders said those cargoes mostly end up in Asia. "(The main destinations were) China, Singapore and some cargoes went to India," one trader added.
Russia also exports small amounts of dirty oil products to Africa, mostly to Senegal, which has bought about 114,000 tons of Russian fuel oil this month, according to Refinitiv.
We remind, Czech Republic can cover its oil needs through shipments via the Transalpine Pipeline (TAL) pipeline from 2025, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Tuesday after the country signed a deal to boost capacity along the link.
The Czech government is looking to eliminate all dependence on Russian oil in the coming years, and thus end its exemptions from a European Union ban on imports from Moscow last year. Czech refineries are owned by Polish state-controlled refiner PKN Orlen, which said in April it terminated a contract for Russian oil supplies for its Polish refineries.