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Plunging Oil and Gas Sales Drag Russia’s Exports to Europe Down by 68%

Russia’s exports to Europe plunged by 68% last year, compared to 2022, dragged down by significantly lower EU imports of oil and gas from Russia, according to official Russian data.

The value of Russian exports to Europe plummeted by 68% year-on-year to $84.9 billion in 2023, Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted a report from the Russian news agency Interfax based on data by the Russian federal customs agency.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has stopped publishing trade data with individual countries and is not reporting the level of its oil and gas production and exports.

Separately, Chinese statistics data have shown that the Russia-China trade hit a record value of $240 billion in 2023, as the ties between the two countries grew stronger, AFP notes.

As the EU – Russia’s previous top oil buyer – banned imports of Russian crude and fuels, Moscow turned to Asia, especially China and India, to place its crude oil.

China took in half of all the crude oil that Russia exported in 2023, with India a close second, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said at the end of last year.

China now accounts for 45% to 50% of Russian oil and fuel exports, while India is taking in some 40%, Novak said. The increase is particularly remarkable for India, where Russia exported almost no oil whatsoever until 2022. Now, it is the subcontinent’s leading supplier.

“If earlier we exported around 40-45% of our total crude oil and refined products to Europe, by the end of this year we expect this share to have fallen to 4-5%,” Novak said on state TV at the end of December.

Meanwhile, Gazprom’s pipeline natural gas exports to Europe slumped by 55.6% in 2023, after Russia cut off supplies to several EU countries and Nord Stream was blown up in the Baltic Sea at the end of 2022.

Russia’s daily gas volumes via pipeline to Europe plummeted to 77.6 million cubic meters in 2023 from 174.8 million cubic meters in 2022, according to estimates by Reuters based on data from European gas transmission group Entsog and Gazprom’s daily reports on transit via Ukraine.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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