Russian diesel exports are set to hit a record high this month despite European Union sanctions that have deprived the country of its largest market.
This comes as Moscow has so far ignored concern that the bloc’s recent import ban might force it to cut back on exports amid a lack of alternative buyers. Instead, Turkey, Morocco and other countries have stepped up their purchases – although some shipments from Russia are also being held in floating storage, according to Bloomberg, which was viewed by Al Arabiya.net.
Shipments of diesel fuel from Russia during the first 19 days of March were about 1.5 million barrels per day, according to Vortexa Ltd data compiled by Bloomberg through Friday. If this rate is maintained, this month will see the highest exports according to the data period going back to the beginning of 2016.
US-based independent oil products analyst Mikhail Torokalov said: “Russian refinery runs have remained elevated so far in March, allowing for strong diesel production. Domestic producers seem quite confident they can sell their production to foreign buyers – discounts that They offer it deep enough and there are new markets for the fuel.”
However, the boom in shipments may not last. Loading plans for major Russian ports show a decrease in April compared to March schedules.
Evolution of Russian diesel sales
A significant part of Russian diesel exports is shipped to Turkey. Other importers include Morocco, Brazil, Tunisia and even top oil exporter Saudi Arabia.
But there has also been a significant increase in the amount of diesel fuel from Russia held in floating storage since the EU import ban began – perhaps a sign that finding replacement customers is challenging.
Russian diesel discount