Oil export and transit via Russia's western ports set to rise 9% in March m/m -sources, Reuters calculations

A general view shows the Novorossiysk Fuel Oil Terminal in Novorossiisk
A general view shows the Novorossiysk Fuel Oil Terminal (NMT) in the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, Russia May 30, 2018. Picture taken May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Natalya Chumakova

MOSCOW, March 20 (Reuters) - Crude oil exports and transit of Urals, KEBCO and Siberian Light oil grades from Russia's western ports are expected to rise 9% in March from February, data from trade sources and Reuters calculations showed.

Russia's oil exports from its western ports, excluding Kazakhstan-sourced oil in transit, will increase by 4% on a daily basis, despite the announced plans to reduce oil production in March by 500,000 barrels per day.

The initial plan assumed a 10% drop in oil shipments from Russian ports in March from February.

The increase in Russian oil loadings from western ports is mostly due to delays in February loadings from Novorossiisk port amid storms, the sources said. The delays forced the port to postpone nearly 1 million tonnes of February oil for loading in March. Thus the expected volume of exports from Novorossiisk in March is 3.2 million tonnes.

As a result the total volume of Russian oil exports may reach about 9.6 million tonnes this month, up from 8.0 million tonnes loaded in February.

All the loading positions from the March programme were filled with resources and the vessels were fixed for the loadings, traders said, adding that the monthly plan should be completed in full.

The main buyers of sea-borne Urals cargoes, India and China, retained their positions in March, but sellers have new regular routes, Reuters monitoring showed.

In March, 140,000 tonnes of Urals oil sourced by Gazpromneft was shipped from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk to Myanmar. Russneft (RNFT.MM), as in February, shipped 80,000 tonnes of Siberian Light oil from Novorossiisk to Sri Lanka, according to data in the Eikon terminal.

India remained the biggest buyer of the Russian grade in March and deliveries to India will account for more than 50% of all Urals sea exports this month, while China remains in second place. Deliveries to India and China are carried out both directly or through STS (ship-to-ship) facilities near Greece, Spain and Morocco.

Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Susan Fenton

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