Saturday, May 18, 2024

Russia’s oil exports climb to highest levels since start of Ukraine war

Russia's oil exports have risen to their highest levels since the country attacked Ukraine more than a year ago.

Russia exported 8.3 million barrels per day of crude and refined oil in April, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its monthly oil report released Tuesday. An increase in crude oil exports offset a decline in exports of refined products, the agency added.

The rise comes despite the European Union imposing a ban on all seaborne imports of Moscow’s crude oil last year, and a total ban on imports of refined oil products.

Russia has managed to divert huge volumes of its oil to China and India.

India has become one of the biggest buyers of Russian oil since Moscow invaded Ukraine – and sends much of it back to Europe as refined fuel.

In an article published in the Financial Times on Tuesday, European Union chief Josep Borrell stated that the EU should crack down on India reselling Russian oil into Europe. Borrell warned this practice “is certainly a circumvention of sanctions and member states have to take measures.”

“Russia seems to have few problems finding willing buyers for its crude and oil products,” the IEA said in its report.

Still, Russia’s oil export revenues dropped 27% in April compared with the same month in 2022, the agency estimated.

Tax receipts from the country’s oil and gas sector — which contributes about 45% to its federal budget — were down by nearly two-thirds over the same period.

The IEA added Russia may be increasing its oil exports as a way to compensate for a drop in revenue. The country did not deliver on its commitment to OPEC+, the group of oil producing nations, to slash exports by 500,000 barrels per day last month, according to IEA estimates.

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