Almost 80% of crude has been rerouted from the EU to India and China, the agency reports
Russian oil exports reached a 14-month high in April, with the lion’s share going to Asian markets amid Western sanctions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported on Tuesday.
Crude shipments increased by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 8.3 million bpd last month. The report suggests that a planned Russian oil production cut has not been fully implemented, something Moscow has denied.
In February, Russia pledged to voluntarily reduce oil output by 500,000 bpd starting in March. The move came in response to sanctions, while Moscow also halted sales to buyers that comply with a Western-imposed price ceiling of $60 a barrel.
Russia’s oil trade revenues were up by $1.7 billion on the month, reaching $15 billion in April, according to the IEA. Almost 80% of crude shipments flowed to China and India, it added.
“Indeed, Russia may be boosting volumes to make up for lost revenue,” the agency said in its monthly oil market report.
Soaring exports have been viewed by some experts as a successful Russian policy of redirecting supplies to new buyers after the EU and G7 countries banned oil and petroleum products from their markets.
Western sanctions have resulted in the biggest-ever reshaping of the global energy market as Russia has rerouted most of its oil to Asia over the past year.
“Russia seems to have few problems finding willing buyers for its crude and oil products, frequently at the expense of fellow OPEC+ members in the two-tier market that has emerged since the embargoes came into force,” the IEA suggested.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak earlier revealed that Moscow will reroute more than 60% of its oil and petroleum products exports from the EU to Asia this year. According to the official, of the 220 million tons of crude and refined products previously destined for the EU, Russia will reorient 140 million tons to Asia.
At the same time, Moscow’s monthly crude export revenues were 27% lower in April compared to the same month last year, partly due to lower global energy prices, according to IEA estimates.
Russia has also been offering its crude at a reduced price, contributing to lower revenues. However, that discount has reportedly begun to narrow with growing energy demand in Asia.
“China’s demand recovery continues to surpass expectations, with the country setting an all-time record in March [at 16 million bpd],” the report states.
China’s emergence from Covid restrictions is expected to lift global oil demand this year. The IEA raised its forecast by 2.2 million bpd to 102 million bpd, noting that China would account for nearly 60% of the increase.
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