Russian exports of residual fuel oil lost a major market in the US when it placed sanctions on the country in late April followed by another major market in Europe which has seen the impact of self-sanctioning before the effects of the EU ban take place next February.
- Russian residual fuel oil exports to Europe averaged almost 420kbd in the first five months of 2022, and a lower 365kbd since the war began, compared to nearly 500kbd in 2021 based on Vortexa data.
- This has forced Russian residual fuel oil flows towards Asia and the Middle East.
- Combined fuel oil imports into Asia and the Middle East surged to 320kbd in May, the highest since at least 2016. Asia’s Russian residual fuel oil imports totalled 210kbd in April and May, the highest since April 2019, while May imports into the Middle East hit an 18-month high of 100kbd.
Residual fuel oil imports from Russia to selects countries and regions. Source: Vortexa