MOSCOW, June 1 – RIA Novosti, Natalia Dembinskaya. Europeans are scratching their minds: they also do not want to buy Russian oil – they have imposed a partial embargo and are afraid that Moscow will earn even more from its sales to other countries. But this is already happening: Asia has increased purchases sharply as the EU grapples with new sanctions. Against the backdrop of restrictions, hydrocarbons are cheaper than usual there. But now prices are so high that profits from exports are at a record level. Europe expects a serious shortage of raw materials, rising prices and Asian customers queuing for resources.
they take it for themselves
In April, Asia bought oil from Russia for the first time, surpassing Europe to become the largest importer. The leading ones are India and China.
New Delhi bought 24 million barrels (April – 7.2) in May, according to analytical service Refinitiv Energy. In total, 34 million were pumped into the country between February 24 and May 30.
According to commodity analysis platform Kpler, by May 26, approximately 57 million barrels had been delivered to India and China by Ural and 7.3 million Far Eastern ESPO tankers. At the end of February they were 19 and 5.7 respectively.
The amounts of the contracts are not announced, but as the Financial Times points out, Chinese independent refiners have been given a good discount.
A spokesperson for a refinery in Shandong said the information was not released “to avoid attention and exposure to US sanctions”. As the FT source clarified, refiners take over some of the quotas from state-owned companies that have not formally signed new deals.
“So Beijing, having received cheap energy sources, is eclipsed as the West bombards Moscow with sanctions,” the publication said. It seems that “greedy China will take all the unsold barrels.”
In fact, no one denies this. According to Bloomberg, in May, China targeted almost all of the oil supplied through the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline.
Of course, we have to complicate the logistics, as shipowners and insurers in China are afraid to deal with raw materials from Russia. The smaller ships were then moored by reloading.
Where previously fuel was transported directly by tankers, now Asian ports are becoming a transfer point. For example, ships from the Russian Kozmino arrive in the South Korean Yeosu. There, the fuel is pumped to others after China.
According to shipping company Vortexa, it sailed to China from 32 tankers with ESPO oil on April 27. For comparison, it was 24 out of 31 in March and 20 out of 26 in February. Oil flows in this direction were 20 percent higher than normal in April, according to Braemar ACM Shipbroking.
In May, 33 tankers left Kozmino and all raw materials will go to China, according to Vortexa. Thus, imports will break records from at least 2016.
you fooled yourself
Apparently, Beijing decided in advance to “save” its European rivals from sanctions from energy sources. Observers point out that by scaring Moscow with an embargo, the EU has outstripped itself. Threats to ban hydrocarbon imports will hit Europe, where the fuel crisis has already erupted, not Russia.
But the Europeans admitted that they could not lift a full-fledged embargo. The Hungarians resisted, demanding 15 billion euros in compensation from Brussels. Czechs and Slovaks also do not have access to the sea, they are completely dependent on supply through the Druzhba oil pipeline.
Eventually, a compromise was approved. The embargo applies to fuel transported by sea, but not to Druzhba. Imports will be reduced by about 75 percent.
“You always need the right balance so you don’t do too much damage to our economy. <…> If we completely abandon Russian oil from today, he (President Putin. – Approx. Ed.) will probably sell it on the world market, where prices will rise and he will earn more, “explained Ursula von der Leyen. But beware of the balance. Head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell, Europe’s head of diplomacy. He acknowledged that the United States was unlikely to succeed, as it could not prohibit third countries from trading with Russia.
get in line
And prices are already at their highest level: Brent has surpassed $120 a barrel.
“Further bans will complicate the situation in the crude oil market, which is already overburdened by increased demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel ahead of peak season in the US and Europe,” DailyFX analysts said.
“China and India will now line up for Russian raw materials. Thailand and Bangladesh, possibly Japan, will join them. The Urals are sold at $89-92 per barrel,” says independent industry expert Leonid Khazanov.
Even the Americans urged Europe to ease oil sanctions: gasoline prices are skyrocketing. However, the EU has put itself in a difficult situation by insisting on its own.
“The European Union has taken a serious blow. They can buy Russian oil in West Africa, but now there are no free tankers and their rentals are getting more expensive. It is not clear what they will do. Moreover, the tanker fleet is mainly “Because Europe has to rebuild the refinery for other grades. and it will take several years. The option is to distill the tanks by rail, but there are huge costs in addition to the different sizes,” says Khazanov.
But all this only works for Moscow: against the backdrop of restrictions and high quotations, revenues from energy exports increased by one and a half times. Oil and gas in April brought a record 1.8 trillion rubles (March – 1.2). According to OilPrice analysts, in January-April, the federal budget of Russia has already received half (9.5 trillion rubles) of the planned revenue for 2022. Now, after the sixth package of sanctions, the market deficit will only increase and raw material prices will continue to rise: $200 per barrel is not excluded.
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