UPDATE 1-Russia's fuel exports fall 10% in Feb 1-12 - Refinitiv data and traders


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MOSCOW, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Russia’s seaborne oil product exports fell about 10% in Feb 1-12 from the same period in January due to the European Union’s embargo, the lack of available tankers and the closure of ports due to storms, traders said and Refinitiv data showed.

The European Union’s imposed a full embargo of Russian oil products and price cap from Feb. 5, but also made an exemption from the price cap for Russian fuel blended with a product from another third country origin.

The EU price cap exemptions prove demand for Russia’s fuel, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last week.

Russia’s Baltic ports of Primorsk and Ust-Luga stayed on plan with fuel loadings 1-12 February, unlike St Petersburg and Vysotsk which showed some decrease, Refinitiv data showed.

In some cases traders faced lack of available tankers or delays in their arrival to export port.

“Some delays in loadings were because of the lingering EU decision on the price cap, some shipowners also were waiting for clarity,” one trader said.

Vysotsk loadings stood at 330,000 tonnes of fuel compared with 440,000 tonnes in the same period last month. St Petersburg has loaded only 50% of volumes in the same period of January - 150,000 tonnes during 1-12 February, Refinitiv data showed.

Black Sea ports of Novorossiisk and Tuapse have suspended operations for 5-6 days due to stormy weather and reopened only on Feb. 10.

“February is usually the most stormy month for Russian ports, and also the shortest of the year”, another source added.

Storm delays in Russian Black Sea ports may spark rail congestion, leading to storage overstocking and cuts in refinery runs. (Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Alexander Ershov and Guy Faulconbridge)