Russian oil companies and traders have chartered more than half the vessels chartered to load crude from Russia’s Far East in the first half of May， compared to accounting for a tenth of such spot charters in the year to April 2022， according to data from Braemar ACM.
“These new players have replaced the mainstay Chinese and international traders who dominated the trade till last month， chartering 85% of spot lifting vessels in April. This change follows public announcements by the Chinese and international traders to stop trading in Russian crudes from May，” Braemar ACM noted in a tanker update to clients.
Russia is looking to Asia to fill much of the gap left by Europeans shunning its oil in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine this February.
Data from S&P Global Market Intelligence last week showed Russian-origin crudes hit 5% of India’s total seaborne imports in April for the first time， rising from under 1% throughout 2021 and Q1 2022.