Russian Crude Exports Dropped by 26% as Major Buyers Turns Away

Oil exports of Russia fell by more than a quarter in the week March 17-23 compared with the prior week, according to industry data.

Average daily shipments reached 495,300 tons, down by 26.4% from the week before, according to figure of Bloomberg. The figure is equivalent to about 3.63 million barrel a day.

The figure suggest, Russia’s usual customers shifting to alternative energy supplies after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Only a handful of nations including U.S. and U.K. explicitly imposed ban of Russian oil imports. However, many country’s have undertaken self imposed buyer’s strike in response to the war.  Major companies from Shell Plc to TotalEnergies SE have said they intend to phase out purchases of crude and fuel from Russia.

However, the total oil production over the period was little changed dropped only 0.3% from the week before. According to the Bloomberg, the nation pumped about 11.08 million barrels a day on average in the period, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last week, Russia is still able to sell its crude leveraging price discounts and aims to keep output steady.

Russia will be able to redirect to Asian markets most of the barrels Europe won’t take, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

“Undoubtedly, declining requests will be compensated by requests from the east,” Peskov said. “It cannot be ruled out that some volumes will be lost, but in any case the global market is more multi-faceted,” and not centered around Europe, he added.

Russia plans to increase shipments of its flagship Urals blend in April, with state pipeline company Transneft PJSC issuing an export program to load 2.26 million barrels a day onto tankers from three western ports next month. That would be the highest since June 2019 and also a big jump from this month.