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Russian Oil Exports Keep Rising

If you think oil exports from Russia have dropped, think again.

According to Euractiv.com, Saudi Arabia has

more than doubled the amount of Russian fuel oil it imported in the second quarter to feed power stations to meet summer cooling demand and free up the kingdom’s own crude oil for export.

Saudi oil production is operating near capacity, with approximately 23% of its crude exports being sold to China. Their sales to the People’s Republic are topped only by Russia, who came in as China’s top source for oil imports in both May and June. 

American media sources appear to suggest that Russian exports to Asian markets have fallen. A Business Insider article from July 18th, citing a report from Bloomberg.com, claims that Russian exports to China and India “have fallen nearly 30%” since the start of the Ukraine war. 

However, other news sources point in the opposite direction. The European Conservative previously reported that the Middle East is a growing market for Russian oil. On July 8th, Economic Times explained:

In May, India imported 819,000 barrels per day (bpd), [up] from 277,000 bpd in April and 33,000 bpd a year ago. Russia is now the second biggest supplier to India, replacing Saudi Arabia, while Iraq continues to be the largest.

Furthermore, rigzone.com, an online news resource for the oil and gas industry, reports:

Since the start of the war, based on the average of March to May 2022, Indian imports of Urals crude have picked up by 658 %compared to 2021 levels, while for China the increase is 205%, and for Asia as a whole 347 %, Rystad Energy research shows.

According to a Bloomberg.com article on May 27th, Asia was rapidly replacing Europe as the main market for Russian oil exports.

Sven R. Larson is a political economist and author. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Roskilde University, Denmark. Originally from Sweden, he lives in America where for the past 16 years he has worked in politics and public policy. He has written several books, including Democracy or Socialism: The Fateful Question for America in 2024.

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