Russian Seaborne Crude Oil Exports Hit 2024 High

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Russian Seaborne Crude Oil Exports Hit 2024 High

Russia exported last week the highest weekly crude oil volumes so far this year, at 3.7 million barrels per day (bpd), up by nearly 600,000 bpd from the previous week and 420,000 bpd more than its pledged export cut this quarter, tanker-tracking data monitored by Bloomberg showed on Tuesday.

The jump in the weekly exports in the week to March 10 was likely the result of the return of normal operations at the Far East port of Kozmino, where exports were hampered by a storm in the week to March 3.

Still, even the four-week average, which tends to be less volatile and more representative of trends without storm effects, was higher by 50,000 bpd to 3.36 million bpd in the week to March 10, compared to the four-week average for the week to March 3, according to the data reported by Bloomberg’s Julian Lee.

Last week’s Russian seaborne crude shipments were 420,000 bpd higher than the Russian pledge to cut crude and product exports this quarter. The four-week average crude exports by sea were also higher than the targeted exports Moscow has promised as part of the OPEC+ agreement—these were 80,000 bpd higher than the self-imposed ceiling, per Bloomberg’s calculations.

The surge in Russia’s crude oil shipments to the highest so far this year came in the week after Moscow, together with Saudi Arabia and several other OPEC+ members, announced they would roll over their voluntary supply cuts into the second quarter of the year.

Announcing the extension of the cuts into the second quarter, Russia changed its production/export cut plan and said that it in the second quarter it would reduce supply by 471,000 bpd in the form of cuts to oil production and exports, with output cuts the focus of reductions between April and June.

Russia’s announcement that it would focus on cuts to oil production instead of exports could be the result of lower refining capacity in Q2 and stricter enforcement of the sanctions on its crude exports, analysts told Reuters last week.

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