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Russian Crude Flows Slump, But It’s Likely to Prove Temporary

Decline in Primorsk shipments is probably related to maintenance

Oil storage tanks at the Ust-Luga oil terminal in Ust-Luga, Russia.

Oil storage tanks at the Ust-Luga oil terminal in Ust-Luga, Russia.

Photographer: Igor Grussak/picture alliance/Getty Images

Russia’s seaborne crude exports plunged last week, but the drop probably doesn’t indicate that sanctions are starting to bite.

Flows from Russian ports were down week-on-week by 20%, falling to their lowest level since the week ended March 25. They are expected to bounce back though, with the dip most likely due to maintenance work at the key Baltic port of Primorsk, or the pipeline serving it.