The three nations that aided Moscow in keeping up its crude shipments during its invasion of Ukraine appear to be re entering the market for Russian barrels, with Turkey taking the lead in the most recent buying.
Monitoring Russia’s exports has become more difficult due to a noticeable increase in the amount of oil on tankers that have not yet signalled their final destination, but the majority of these ships go to India, with a lesser number going further east to China.
The computation reveals a consistent rise in the cumulative flow of Russian oil to Turkey, China, and India in recent weeks when those ships are included.
Nearly all Russian crude tankers that signal ports like Port Said, Gibraltar, or “for orders” eventually land in one of those three states.
There is not much time left to carry crude from Russia’s Baltic ports to China and India prior to the imposition on December 5 of sanctions by the European Union that will bar boats from receiving insurance and other services. Tankers must leave Primorsk or Ust-Luga by around October 21 in order to make it to discharge ports in eastern China by that date.
At 2.2 million barrels per day, exports to China, India, and Turkey reached their peak in June. This number decreased by around 350,000 barrels per day in the four weeks leading up to October 14.
The volume on tankers that have not yet revealed their final destinations is now so high—it is equivalent to more than 450,000 barrels per day—that it could push combined shipments to these three countries to new post-invasion highs once their true destinations are known. However, shipments to Turkey have increased to the highest level for the year thus far.
Trading firms and refiners are scurrying to reserve storage tanks in Rotterdam for the upcoming months because they anticipate a supply shortage once the EU sanctions go into effect.