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Russian oil exports hit near three-year high – IEA

Sanctioned seaborne crude is selling above the price cap set by EU and G7 countries, the agency has revealed

Russian oil exports jumped to their highest level in almost three years in March, despite Western sanctions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) revealed in its monthly report on Friday.

Russia’s daily seaborne oil supplies surged by 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 8.1 million bpd last month, the highest since April 2020, according to the IEA.

The Paris-based agency attributed the increase largely to a rise in exports of oil products, which returned to pre-COVID levels. Deliveries of petroleum products rose by 450,000 bpd month-on-month to 3.1 million bpd in March.

However, while Russia’s oil revenues rebounded from a February decline and rose by $1 billion to $12.7 billion, they were still 43% down on the same period last year, data shows.

Western nations have imposed several waves of sanctions targeting Russian oil exports, including price caps and embargoes. In February, the EU and G7 nations introduced a price cap of $100 per barrel for diesel, jet fuel and gasoline from Russia, and a $45 per barrel limit for other oil products that trade below the crude price. Fuel exports priced above these limits are barred from insurance and shipping services offered by Western businesses. The caps followed a previously introduced $60-per-barrel price ceiling on Russian crude oil.

READ MORE: Report reveals surge in Chinese oil imports

Russia retaliated by refusing to sell its oil to countries that support the price cap scheme and slashing its production by 500,000 barrels per day starting in March.

According to the IEA, Russia’s crude exports in April breached the oil price cap for the first time since restrictions were imposed. The agency revealed that a weighted average of oil loaded from the country’s ports went above the price cap on April 5 mainly as a result of ESPO grade rising to around $74 per barrel.

Earlier this month eight members of the OPEC+ group including major oil producers including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, shocked the markets by announcing their own output cuts of 1.16 million bpd on top of those already introduced in November. The announcement sent global crude prices soaring.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

April 14, 2023 at 05:06PM

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