Turkey’s Urals crude imports head for record high in November – sources, data
Turkey’s imports of Russian Urals oil are heading for a record high this month, according to traders and LSEG data, while traders expect purchases by its other main buyers India and China to hold steady despite lower scheduled loadings.
Traders expect Urals oil supplies to Turkey to rise above October’s 1.4 million tonnes this month to beat October 2022’s all-time peak of 1.43 million tonnes.
Turkey purchased more than 800,000 tonnes of Urals oil loading from Russian ports during Nov. 1-15, up by 200,000 tonnes from the same period of October, LSEG data shows.
Turkey has been importing more cheap Russian barrels after its largest oil refinery STAR, owned by Azerbaijan’s SOCAR, made a deal with Russia’s Lukoil for term supplies of the grade.
Lukoil started delivering Urals to STAR in October and is expected to supply some 100,000 bpd, equivalent to half of the plant’s capacity, this month.
India remained the largest buyer of Urals oil cargoes loading from Russian ports in October, purchasing at least 5 million tonnes of the grade, according to LSEG data.
During Nov. 1-15 Urals oil supplies to India are seen at just 800,000 tonnes, but this is expected to rise as many tankers going to Indian ports initially show other destinations or no destination, traders said.
They see November imports as a whole steady from last month.
No Urals oil cargoes were set for shipment in November to China, whose imports of Urals cargoes stood at 500,000 tonnes last month.
Traders expected some cargoes to emerge later and for overall shipments to hold near last month’s levels, though China’s oil imports are expected to be down generally amid lower refinery runs this autumn.
Russia has also resumed supplies to Pakistan, loading 100,000 tonnes of Urals oil from Ust-Luga to the country after a break in loadings since August. Pakistan said in October it was seeking a long-term deal with Russia for oil supplies.