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MOSCOW, March 10 (Reuters) - Russia is ramping up its diesel supplies to Saudi Arabia using ship-to-ship (STS) loadings in addition to direct supplies, market sources said and Refinitiv data showed.
Exporters of Russian diesel are trying STS to save on new longer and therefore costly routes after a full EU embargo on Russian oil products was imposed on Feb. 5. They are switching Russian diesel exports to Africa and Asia instead of adjacent European countries.
In February, Russia began direct diesel exports to Saudi Arabia, sending about 190,000 tonnes to the ports of Ras Tanura and Jeddah.
STS loadings help to shorten the routes and could save time by going through the Suez Canal, one trader said.
According to Refinitiv shipping data, about 99,000 tonnes of diesel from two cargoes loaded in February in the Baltic port of Primorsk - Agios Nikolaos and Mandala - were transferred ship-to-ship near Kalamata port to the tanker Dimitri, which is heading to the port of Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia.
Another 30,000 tonnes of gasoil from the tanker Butterfly loaded in the Russian Black Sea port Tuapse were co-loaded on STS near Kalamata port on the tanker Aether, which is already discharged in the port Jizan.
Russian diesel shipped to Saudi Arabia is most likely to be refined in Saudi Arabia and re-exported, market sources said. (Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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