EU oil imports from Russia decreased by 90 percent

The European Statistics office (Eurostat) published data on member countries’ imports of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia in March.

Accordingly, the EU’s total import of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia was 1.4 million tons.

The said import was at the level of 15.2 million tons per month in the 2019-2022 period. Thus, the EU’s total purchases of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia decreased by 90 percent in March.

The EU imported 12.4 million tons of crude oil from Russia in January 2022, the pre-war period.

The EU’s crude oil imports decreased by 70 percent to 3.7 million tons in December 2022, when the embargo implementation within the framework of the sanctions came into effect. Crude oil imports decreased by 91 percent to 1.17 million tons in March this year compared to the month before the war.

The EU’s petroleum products imports, which were 3.3 million tons in January 2022, decreased by 80 percent to 0.7 million tons in February 2023, after a second embargo decision. Imports of petroleum products decreased by 92 percent in March this year compared to the month before the war, amounting to 0.3 million tons.

EU purchases of oil from Russia, certain conditions in sanctions under has not stopped completely due to exceptions allowing limited imports.

Before the war, EU countries were procuring about 25 percent of the oil and 40 percent of the natural gas from Russia.

Sanctions on Russian oil

The ban on imports of oil transported by sea from Russia and the ceiling price of 60 dollars per barrel came into effect on December 5, 2022.

In this context, if Russian oil is sold to third countries at a price higher than the determined price, companies in the G7 and EU countries cannot offer various services such as transportation, insurance and brokerage to this oil. In order to provide these services, Russian oil must be traded below the ceiling price.

The EU’s ban on imports of various refinery petroleum products such as diesel and liquid fuel (fuel-oil) transported from Russia by sea and the ceiling price application for these products started on 5 February. In addition, the EU and G7 countries had also limited Russia’s exports of refinery petroleum products to third countries.

Within this framework, Western countries started to apply two different ceiling prices to Russia, namely high value and low value refinery products. A ceiling price of $100 per barrel was set for Russian diesel and kerosene, and $45 per barrel for cheaper liquid fuels and light-colored petroleum products.

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