Historic Shipments Headed to China from Russia

According to recent data from leading ship-tracking companies, shipments of Russian crude oil to China and India, the two largest buyers of Russian oil, experienced a notable increase in May. 

Despite the Biden administration’s appeals for reducing Moscow’s substantial income stream by adhering to sanctions and price limits, the shipments reached record levels, rising by ten percent.

The data provided by Kpler and Vortexa, renowned ship tracking firms, indicated that India received an estimated volume of crude oil between 62 and 68 million barrels last month. 

Similarly, China imported approximately 41 to 50 million barrels, although it’s possible that the actual amount of oil received could be higher. 

Chinese refining companies showed keen interest in acquiring Russian oil at discounted prices and lower shipping costs. However, the sluggish Chinese economy has hindered energy demand, impacting the overall import figures.

According to Reuters, Russia’s substantial oil production is causing Middle Eastern and African oil producers to lose significant business to Moscow. 

It’s reported that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) intends to request again that Russia reduce its oil supply during the cartel meeting on June 4 to increase oil prices. 

However, it’s anticipated that Russia will decline this request.

To limit the amount of revenue Moscow can allocate to its actions against Ukraine, the (G7) nations established a price cap of $60 per barrel on Russian oil in December. 

Despite some countries advocating for an increase in the cap to reflect the rising global oil prices and others proposing a lower cap to impact Russia’s war finances further, the G7 decided to maintain the price cap at $60 in April.

G7 members have refrained from imposing stronger sanctions on Russian oil due to the challenges associated with enforcing them and the potential for global energy price spikes that would harm nearly everyone except Russia.

According to a recent report, altering the product origin is presently considered a legitimate method of exporting oil products to nations that impose sanctions on Russia. This procedure effectively channels financial resources into Putin’s war chest.