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European Buyers Are Snapping Up the Most Russian Crude Since April

Seaborne crude flows from Russia jump in the week to Aug. 19

Increasing the flow

Increasing the flow

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Russia’s crude shipments surged last week, recovering almost all of the previous slump. Seaborne exports to European buyers rose to the highest level since April, as some refiners continue to process barrels, even after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Total flows rose to 3.41 million barrels a day in the period to Aug. 19, vessel-tracking data monitored by Bloomberg show. That compares with 3.24 million previously, using a four-week moving average to smooth out variability in the figures. 

All of the increase was to Europe, with shipments to customers in the Mediterranean, northern Europe and the Black Sea region all rising. Exports to Mediterranean countries rose by 140,000 barrels a day, the biggest jump. A European Union ban on seaborne imports of Russian crude is due to come into effect in December.