Asia Remains Russia’s Main Destination for Fuel Shipments

Asia remained the main destination for Russian oil exports after the European Union’s embargo, data from Refinitive showed on Thursday. 

Refinitiv data suggested that since the start of the year, Russia has exported 2.6 million tonnes and 2.1 million tonnes of dirty oil products, mostly fuel oil and vacuum gas oil (VGO), to China and India, respectively.

Singapore and Malaysia were also among the top five destinations for Russian-origin crude oil, importing nearly 3.5 million tonnes in total, while Turkey and Saudi Arabia received roughly 1.6 million tonnes each, according to Refinitiv data.

The EU banned Russian fuel oil and VGO in February 2023, but limitations were largely enforced in August 2022. Since then, ship-to-ship (STS) loadings and Asian and Middle Eastern ports have become the most common ways to evade sanctions.

Russian exports of oil products to STS loadings near the Greek port of Kalamata increased to an all-time high of 8 million tonnes in 2022 and have since averaged about 2.7 million tonnes each year, according to data, with the majority of the shipments going to Asia.