Russian crude exports to Asia are falling to their lowest levels since March

  • Russian crude exports to Asia have fallen to their lowest levels since the invasion of Ukraine. 
  • Shipments are falling below two million barrels per day according to Bloomberg. 
  • China and India are Moscow’s biggest importers of crude. 

Russian crude exports to Asia fell last week to their lowest level since the invasion of Ukraine began, in a warning sign to the Kremlin that demand for its oil could be waning. 

Bloomberg first reported that shipping data for the week ending August 12 showed daily flows below two million barrels per day, bringing Russia’s oil exports to the region to the lowest since March. 

India and China are the biggest importers of Russian crude, and have benefited from snapping up oil at a discount from the Kremlin as Western nations sanction Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. 

The single week of data isn’t enough to make a conclusive assessment toward India and China’s future appetite for Russian oil, but it is a stark metric given both countries’ previous reliance on crude from the Kremlin. Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for India’s Ministry of of External Affairs, elaborated on Friday that the country’s energy outlook would “be guided by our energy security requirements.”

Meanwhile, Russia is still expanding to new markets for exports of oil. Bloomberg cited data showing Russian tankers were headed for Sri Lanka and Egypt. 

Despite heavy sanctions, Russia continues to rake in profits from sales of its crude oil. Moscow is taking in roughly $30 million more a month from crude exports compared to before the invasion.