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Russian Oil Exports Have Stabilized, Revenues Steady

Russia’s oil exports appear to have stabilized, based on Bloomberg data released Monday showing a steady level of 500,000 barrels per day below the peak reached prior to the February invasion of Ukraine.

Russian seaborne crude exports reached 3.5 million bpd in the week to July 29th, according to Bloomberg, while the four-week average shows about 3.2 million bdp–a figure that suggests stabilization.

More specifically, while Bloomberg reported last week that there were indications Chinese and Indian buyers were slightly letting up on Russian oil purchases, Russia’s crude flows to Asia remain stable post-invasion. In April and May, we saw Russian oil flows to Asia soar to 2.1 million bpd, but July numbers show this leveling off now at 1.75 million bpd.

The end result is that Moscow continues to collect sizable oil revenues for its war coffers, with rising crude oil prices upping the ante and filling in gaps for any shortfall in outflows.

Bloomberg's new Russia oil outflow data comes as the G7 attempts to move forward with its plan to place a price cap on Russian oil, with the potential for this to be put in place by December 5th when the European Union’s ban on seaborne crude imports from Russia goes into effect.

The oil price cap is designed to reduce Russia’s revenues and thereby reduce the value of its war chest. The price cap scheme would require support from India and China in order to be truly effective. It would also require compliance from Moscow, which is not likely to be forthcoming.

Moscow has already said it would not comply and would not sell to any countries agreeing to a price cap, and China, which has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is not likely to agree to the West’s plans.