Russia’s oil exports have plunged amid the European Union’s price cap on Russian crude and the latest round of sanctions, squeezing revenues for Moscow’s wartime economy.
According to data from the analytics firm Kpler, Russia’s seaborne oil shipments fell by 16%, or about half a million barrels per day on Tuesday this week. TankerTrackers.com, another analytics site, recorded an even steeper 50% drop in daily barrel shipments, largely due to a fall in shipments headed to Russia’s Black Sea and Baltic ports, which transfer oil to Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The decline comes shortly after the EU ban on Russian seaborne oil imports kicked into effect, and the $60 price cap on Russian oil was imposed. It’s a promising sign that the latest round of sanctions has taken a toll on Moscow’s war revenue, despite concerns from industry experts that western nations had no way to fully enforce a price cap mechanism and the measure would fail to have a meaningful impact on energy pricing.
Russia has refused to abide by the price cap and threatened to retaliate against any country that enforces it. The nation could do that in three ways: imposing a price floor, setting a maximum discount level, or slashing western supplies and redirecting its crude flows to Asia.
But the price cap is giving Russia’s Asian allies more bargaining power, allowing them to secure even heftier discounts, some analysts say. Traders told Reuters that one Chinese shipment was sold at a $6 discount, more than three times the premium three weeks ago.
Russia’s central bank warned that the price cap and the EU oil ban were “new economic shocks” that could batter economic activity in the coming months.
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