MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia cut its seaborne diesel and gasoil exports by nearly 30% to about 1.7 million metric tons in the first 20 days of September from the same time in August, as local refineries went into seasonal maintenance and the domestic market faces a fuel shortage and rising prices, traders said and LSEG data showed, as per Reuters.
Idle primary oil refining capacity for September is estimated at 4.657 million tons, up 45% from August, according to Reuters calculations. Due to the domestic fuel shortage, Russia's government is considering an export duty for oil products of USD250 per ton - much higher than current fees - from Oct. 1 until June 2024, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
"The export duty could negatively affect the refineries economy and may lead to a fuel production decrease", one trader said. In September so far, Turkey remains the top destination for diesel exports from Russian ports, though they almost halved to about 600,000 tons, LSEG data showed.
Diesel loadings from Russia to Brazil have decreased by a third month-on-month to about 260,000 tons since the start of this month, according to the shipping data.
Meanwhile, about 150,000 tons of diesel from Russian ports are destined in September for ship-to-ship (STS) loadings near the Greek port of Kalamata and final destinations for those volumes are not known yet. Russian diesel supplies to African countries totaled about 460,000 tons in the first 20 days of September, with Tunisia, Libya and Ghana among leading importers.
Another 190,000 tons of diesel loaded in Russian ports since the start of this month do not yet have a confirmed destination. All the shipping data above are based on the date of cargo departure.
We remind, Russia's Sakhalin Energy, which produces liquefied natural gas and oil, has fully resumed production following maintenance. The company has said it planned maintenance in July without providing a timeframe. Sakhalin Energy's Sakhalin-2 operating company was transformed into a Russian entity via a presidential decree amid Western sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.