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Russian Crude Imports Up In Asia. Are They Re-exporting To The EU?

Russia’s Crude Oil Being Re-exported To The EU

Russian crude oil supplies are gaining traction in Asian countries and developing a refining capacity. The concerned authorities increasingly manufacture these refineries. The reports suggest that these refineries are refining Russian crude oil. But for what?

The countries where the imports of crude oil are increasing in value from the inbound shipments of Russia are reportedly refining the Russian crude to export it further to the countries belonging to the European Union since the EU is in the process of absolution of Russian dependency.

Asia’s Crude Oil Imports From Russia

The imports of Russian crude in Asia are represented below in a yearly sequence. The time period follows 2019 to 2022 with each year’s respective import value. 2019 amounted to $50 billion, followed by 2020 with $34.4 billion, 2021 with $51.3 billion, and 2022 with $62.6 billion.

As can be observed in the above-represented import data above, the year 2022 has accounted for the highest value of imports in the last four years, representing an increase of $11.2 billion in values and an increase of 21.9% in percentage, as compared to the previous year (2021).

Russian Crude Oil Imports In Asia Now

Furthermore, magnifying into the imports of Russia’s crude oil in Asia, we trace the quarterly trend, we found that—2021 registered an increase of frequent growth in each quarter, while 2022 registered a slight decrease in the fourth quarter, representing a 10.9% decrease.

Russian Crude Imports By Top 3 Asian Countries

The global trade data 2022 reveals that the top Asian countries with the highest values of Russian crude oil imports are—China, India, and South Korea (in the same sequence). The below-represented countries feature the quarterly trends of Russian crude imports for 2022.

China is at the forefront of these imports since the values are higher than the other two countries and are increasing consistently. India made a whopping jump in the second quarter and registered impressive growth. South Korea’s imports went downhill and declined significantly.

Refined Oil Exports To The EU From China

Tracing the history of China’s refined oil imports to the EU in the last four years, we found that the imports have increased dramatically in 2022. 2020 recorded a decrease of 28.27% due to the pandemic, and it continues to increase in 2021, followed by a high 225.6% jump in 2022.

Taking a closer look at the Chinese exports of refined oil to the EU by tracing the quarterly values, following the start of 2021 to the end of 2022, we found that except for the fourth quarter of 2021, the imports have continued to rise in each quarter and have shown consistent growth.

EU’s Refined Oil Imports From Countries – 2022

The below-shown import data represents the quarterly values of the EU’s refined oil imports from other countries for the year 2022. The graph shows a rising trend in refined oil imports, which increased from $53.6 billion in the first quarter of 2022 to $65.3 billion in the final quarter of 2022.

Final Call – Is the EU Getting Imports From Asia?

From the analysation of the above-represented datasets, we found that the imports of Russia’s crude oil indeed have increased in Asian countries for 2022. While the final quarter of 2022 shows a decline, the imports in the top two importing Asian countries were significantly growing.

This is especially true for Chinese imports, as the vast majority of values showed high demand. Inversely, by tracing the exports of refined oil from China, we found that values for the exports of China’s refined oil to the EU have significantly increased from 2019 to 2022.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine occurred on February 24, 2022, impacting the global supply chain and bilateral trade of both Russia and Ukraine with their respective trading partners. The impact has clearly influenced the pattern of refined oil imports by the EU in 2022.

This is evident from the whopping surge in the values for 2022 in China’s refined oil exports to the EU, which increased from $1.5 billion in 2021 to $4.9 billion in 2022, representing a whopping surge of 225.6% with the increase of $3.4 billion in excess by total imports.

While we don’t claim any authority on the reports claiming that Asian countries are importing Russia’s crude oil in order to refine it and sell it further to the European Union’s member countries, the trade statistics have been put into theory for clarification on the subject.

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