Turkey and Brazil to become Russia's main importers of oil products in 2023Turkey and Brazil to become Russia's main importers of oil products in 2023

(Reuters) – Turkey and Brazil became the biggest importers by sea of diesel and gas oil from Russia last year, after European Union sanctions came into force that prevent the import of Russian refined products, according to data from market sources and LSEG.

Before the EU’s total embargo was implemented in February 2023, Europe was Russia’s biggest buyer.

Since then, traders have diverted diesel cargoes from Russian ports to Brazil, Turkey, African countries, Asia, the Middle East and ship-to-ship (STS) shipments.

According to LSEG data, Russia exported around 13.5 million tons of diesel and gas oil to Turkey last year, up from 5 million tons in 2022. It was unclear how much of this volume remained in Turkey, rather than being sent to other destinations.

Diesel shipments from Russian ports to Brazil totaled around 6.5 million tons in 2023, compared to 74,000 tons in 2022.

Turkey remained the largest buyer of Russian diesel and gas oil in the first month of this year, receiving more than 1.5 million tons, according to LSEG data.

Brazilian imports from Russia, however, fell in January to around 460,000 tons, down from 1 million tons in December 2023. Traders said the drop was the result of a seasonal fall in demand and supply.

Last year, Russia also exported around 1.9 million tons of diesel to Saudi Arabia and almost 1.6 million tons to the United Arab Emirates, according to shipping data.

Diesel exports from Russian ports to African countries also increased last year, reaching 10.2 million tons, compared to 2.4 million tons in 2022. Morocco, Libya, Togo, Tunisia and Ghana were among the main importers.

In January this year, diesel supplies from Russian ports to African countries totaled around 0.8 million tons, LSEG data showed.

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