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EU boosts Russian residual fuel imports ahead of Feb. 5 ban -Vortexa

EU imports of Russian residual fuel spiked to a six-month high of about 210,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January, ahead of a Feb. 5 ban on bringing Russian oil products into the region, data from oil analytics firm Vortexa showed.

Imports of Russian residual fuel, which include fuel oil and refinery feedstocks, were nearly double December’s levels and a little less than the 240,000 bpd the EU imported in July, the data showed.

The rise in imports comes ahead of the Feb. 5 ban on imports of Russian oil products into the European Union (EU) and a price cap that the bloc is set to impose for third parties looking to buy Russian oil.

Overall EU imports from all regions were pegged at a three-month low of about 850,000 bpd in January, down from 930,000 bpd in December and 960,000 bpd in January last year, the data showed.

The EU is set to cap prices that trade at a premium to crude, such as diesel and aviation fuel, at $100 a barrel. Products that trade at a discount to crude, such as fuel oil, will be capped at $45 a barrel.

The cap allows non-EU countries to import seaborne Russian oil but prohibits Western shipping and insurance companies from handling cargoes of the oil unless it is sold at or below that price.

Late in December Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree ordering a five-month ban on the supply of crude and refined products to nations abiding by the cap.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar Editing by David Goodman)

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