Russia’s revenue from crude oil exports just hit its lowest point since Vladimir Putin launched his war on Ukraine

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Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Russia’s weekly revenues from oil exports fell to the lowest level since Moscow ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg data shows.
  • Duty rates declined, and the volume of seaborne crude shipments dropped to a five-week low. 
  • The European Union’s sanctions on Russian crude are set to take effect on December 5. 

Russia’s weekly revenue from crude oil exports dropped to its lowest levels since February, when President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg data shows. 

The Kremlin’s war chest saw inflows from its crude-export duty drop by $12 million to $121 million in the week leading up to October 21, per Bloomberg. 

The duty rate fell to $6.06 a barrel, the lowest since February 2021, and the volume of seaborne crude shipments dropped to a five-week low 21.  

The dip comes as the EU’s next round of sanctions on Russia takes effect December 5. They include an bans on seaborne oil imports as well as services related to Russian oil exports, such as insurance, financing and shipping.

That puts some buyers in Asia at risk. Two key refiners in India have already stopped spot purchases of Russian barrels that would arrive after sanctions are expected, as shipments can take several weeks to arrive. 

Should sanctions hit when tankers are still ferrying Russian crude between destinations, they could risk losing insurance while at sea. 

Meanwhile, separate data showed Chinese imports of Russian oil surged 22% year-on-year in September. Chinese refiners facing thin margins have ramped up purchases of cheap barrels, Reuters reported.

The Asian superpower’s appetite for Russian imports signals Beijing’s willingness to continue to engage with Moscow, despite geopolitical troubles and new, impending sanctions.

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