Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
31 May 2022

How Russia has increased its oil exports to Asia

An increasing share of Russian oil is ending up in India and China rather than Europe.

By Aisha Majid

Russia’s war on Ukraine appears to be reconfiguring global oil markets. Data tracking shipments suggests that the share of Russian crude oil shipped to countries in Asia has increased since the invasion, as European imports have fallen.

In the last quarter of 2021, some 95 per cent of Russian oil exported via European waters through the Arctic, Baltic and Black seas stayed in Europe. In April and May of this year, however, that percentage was down to 59 per cent, according to the analytics firm Vortexa.

An increasing share of shipments are instead ending up in India and China.

This week, the EU agreed to sanction Russia for its actions in Ukraine. EU leaders agreed to block most Russian oil imports by the end of 2022. The ban, which will only apply to oil that arrives by sea (around two thirds of imports) will “cut off a huge source of financing for [Russia’s] war machine”, according to the European Council president, Charles Michel.

According to think tank Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, Russia has exported more than €30bn worth of oil to EU countries since the start of the invasion – three times the value of its oil exports to China in the same period.

Russia may, however, be able to mitigate the worst effects of an EU oil ban by reorienting to Chinese and Indian customers. European and US sanctions have led Russia to increasingly look to Asian buyers who are reportedly purchasing the oil at discounted prices.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
“I learn something new on every trip"
How data can help revive our high streets in the age of online shopping
Why digital inclusion is a vital piece of levelling up

Topics in this article: , ,