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MOSCOW, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Russia has ramped up its light oil products exports via Mediterranean ship-to-ship (STS) transfers in February after an embargo shut off access to European markets, data from traders and Refinitiv showed.
A full EU embargo on Russian oil products went into effect on Feb. 5.
“Ship-to-ship loadings allow a shortened route, returning a tanker faster to port for another loading,” one trader said.
There is also only a limited fleet available to visit Russian ports.
According to Refinitiv Eikon shipping data, Russia’s diesel exports in February from its Baltic and Black Sea ports involving STS near the port of Kalamata in Greece have almost doubled month on month to more than 300,000 tonnes.
Kalamata emerged last year as a hub for STS loadings of Russian fuel oil and VGO exports, with volumes surging to 8.2 million tonnes from 1.4 million a year earlier, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.
Other locations used for STS loadings of Russian light oil products include OPL (outer port limit) Malta and Augusta in Sicily, market sources added.
Refinitiv data showed that naphtha loaded from the Russian Baltic port of Ust-Luga on the vessel Sea Icon was transhipped on Feb. 21 at OPL Augusta to the vessel Sea Senor, which is now heading towards the Suez Canal.
STS supplies of Russian light oil products could rise further in February, as some cargoes carrying diesel loaded at the Baltic port of Primorsk have nominations such as “Gibraltar for order” which may end up at OPL anchorages for STS loading. (Reporting by Reuters; editing by Jason Neely)
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