Russian oil exports dip 4% in Sept. ahead of EU sanctions- IEA

A container ship sails along Nakhodka Bay near the oil terminal in the port city of Nakhodka
A container ship sails along Nakhodka Bay near the oil terminal in the port city of Nakhodka, Russia August 12, 2022. REUTERS/Tatiana Meel

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Russian oil exports dropped by nearly 4% in September as sales to Europe fell sharply ahead of EU sanctions that kick in at the end of the year, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.

Russian oil exports fell by 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September to 7.5 million bpd, the energy watchdog said in its monthly report.

Crude exports were down 260,000 bpd to 4.8 million bpd from a recent peak of 5.5 million bpd in April. Exports of products such as diesel and gasoline rose by 30,000 bpd.

Shipments to the European Union by 390,000 bpd to 2.6 million bpd. EU crude oil imports fell to 1.6 million bpd.

The share of of European sales in Russia's total exports fell to 35% from 50% at the start of the year, the IEA said.

The EU will stop buying all Russian crude oil delivered by sea - or 2/3 of all EU imports of Russian crude - from early December under sanctions imposed since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, and will ban all Russian refined products two months later.

"While it has taken seven months for them to replace 800,000 bpd of Russian crude oil imports, (the EU) will need to switch an additional 1.3 million bpd of seaborne and pipeline volumes in the two months remaining until the EU ban on kicks in," the IEA said.

Exports to India, which has ramped up purchases of discounted Russian crude following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February, remained stable at 1 million bpd in September.

Loadings to China, the largest importer of Russian crude oil since June, were down by 115,000 bpd.

"However, with close to 500,000 bpd of oil going to as yet unidentified destinations, final numbers for each importing region may result in significant revisions to these preliminary figures," the IEA said.

Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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