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SOURCE: REUTERS

India and China were the top destinations for Russian seaborne fuel oil and vacuum gasoil (VGO) exports in May, traders said and LSEG data showed. Russian fuel oil and VGO seaborne exports last month rose 12% from April to about 4 million metric tons, helped by completion of seasonal maintenance.

The European Union’s full embargo on Russian oil products went into effect in February 2023 and the bulk of Russia’s fuel oil and VGO was redirected to other regions, mostly Asia. In May direct fuel oil and VGO shipments from Russian ports to India increased to 0.7 million tons from 0.6 million tons the previous month.

Russian fuel oil loadings to China rose last month to about 520,000 tons from 450,000 tons in April, Reuters calculations and LSEG data show.

China and India import straight-run fuel oil and VGO for refining, partially replacing more expensive Urals barrels, traders said.

Dirty oil products supplies to Saudi Arabia from Russian ports in May doubled month on month to 430,000 tons. Traders buy fuel oil for power generation during the hot summer season, market sources say.

Russian fuel oil loadings to the Ain Sukhna Terminal in Egypt fell last month to 200,000 tons from almost 500,000 tons in April, LSEG data shows.

VGO and fuel oil loadings from Russia to Malaysia rose to 320,000 tons from 190,000 tons in April while dirty oil products to Fujairah fell to 90,000 tons from 60,000 tons.

About 450,000 tons of VGO and fuel oil loaded in Russian ports in May went for ship-to-ship loadings near Greece and Malta. Most of those cargoes end up in Asia, market sources said.