Russia accounts for nearly 40% of German January oil imports -data

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Oil depots are pictured in the harbour in Hamburg, Germany, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

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FRANKFURT, April 1 (Reuters) - Russia accounted for 39.5% of crude oil imports into Germany in January, official data showed on Friday, underlining the big role Moscow plays in raw materials deliveries to Europe's biggest economy.

Import volumes in January rose 8.5% over a year earlier amid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while the bill was up 85.7% due to higher prices, statistics from the BAFA foreign trade office showed.

BAFA releases import data with a two-month delay so the impact Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February and efforts to punish Moscow for it actions is not reflected.

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January oil volumes increased to a total 7.0 million tonnes from 6.5 million in the same month a year earlier.

Germany spent 3.9 billion euros ($4.30 billion) on crude imports in the month, compared with 2.1 billion euros a year earlier.

Prominent individual suppliers after Russia were the United States (13.9%) and Kazakhstan (12.2%).

These were followed by Britain and Norway which, if counted together as North Sea sources, amounted to 19% of the total, while imports from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) contributed 12.6%.

The average price paid per tonne on the border rose by 71% from a year ago, standing at 560.08 euros.

Even before oil prices surged since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February and western countries responded with sanctions, costs had been up on supply cuts made by producers, demand recovery and a switch to some more oil use in power generation to replace tight coal and gas.

Crude prices fell heavily this week from post-invasion levels as the U.S. planned huge releases of reserves and producers aimed for more output.

($1 = 0.9064 euros)

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Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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Thomson Reuters

Senior power correspondent for Germany with more than 30 years experience and focused on deregulated energy markets for power and gas, companies, networks, exchanges, renewables, policy, storage, future transport and hydrogen. A German native who has studied and worked in the United States and Britain.