Russia diverts diesel exports after EU embargo to Africa, Asia and STS- traders, Refinitiv data

A diesel plant in the Irkutsk Oil Company-owned Yarakta Oil Field in Irkutsk Region, Russia
A diesel plant in the Yarakta Oil Field, owned by Irkutsk Oil Company (INK), in Irkutsk Region, Russia March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
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MOSCOW, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Russia has diverted its diesel export supplies to Africa and Asia, as well for ship-to-ship (STS) loadings in February, as embargo closed the European markets for Russian-origin fuel, according to traders and Refinitiv data.

Russia has long been the main diesel supplier for Europe, where refineries do not produce enough fuel to meet domestic demand from its large diesel car fleet.

A full EU embargo on Russian oil products went into effect on Feb. 5.

According to Refinitiv shipping data, the main bulk of low-sulphur diesel and gasoil cargoes from the Russian Black Sea ports Tuapse and Novorossiisk are heading towards Turkey, as well as to Oman, Togo and Tunisia.

Russian Black Sea ports enjoyed Turkey's market proximity for diesel supplies even before, while exporters from Baltic port Primorsk and Vysotsk had to replace European destinations with much longer trips, boosting the freight cost.

"Ship owners are probably the main beneficiaries of all this situation owing to the long routes and high freight rates", one trader said.

Since the start of February Russia diverts low-sulphur diesel volumes from its Baltic ports to Morocco, Algeria, Ghana, Tunisia and Brazil.

Also two cargoes carrying about 130,000 of diesel are heading from the port of Primorsk to the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Refinitiv data showed.

Some cargoes were destined with sort of opaque nomination like "Gibraltar on order", "Ceuta on order" or even just "on order", according to Refinitiv shipping data. Traders consider such nominations either having no buyer or booked for discharging to another ship.

European countries replace Russian diesel supplies increasing imports from India, Saudi Arabia, China, Kuwait, Malaysia and even Togo, Refinitiv data showed.

Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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