Russian oil exports declined 26% between March 17 and March 23, according to industry sources cited by Bloomberg, though Russian production was stable.
The news comes as buyers in Europe and the US are avoiding buying Russian shipments amid the uncertainty and public calls for sanctions of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia is the world’s second largest exporter of oil at 5 million barrels per day in December 2021, of which 60% goes to OECD Europe, 34% of the continent’s imports.
Part of the slack is being picked up by India which is importing four times as much crude as last year, according to industry portal OilPrice.com, reaching 360,000 barrels per day in March. Russian crude is being sold at a discount of $20-$30 per barrel.
Oil prices were down on Monday as markets reacted to news that China had implemented a substantial lockdown in Shanghai due to COVID-19.