Russian companies are using a series of questionable methods to sell a sought-after but banned oil product to sanctions-compliant buyers and overcome financial constraints imposed by the European Union and its partners. The methods are described by Bloomberg.
Sellers of Russian naphtha, which is mainly used in the production of plastics and petrochemicals, are facing great difficulty in marketing the product after the entry into force of the sanctions at the beginning of February. According to people familiar with the matter, as well as FGE and Kpler, this has led to measures such as labeling raw materials as gasoline or goods leaving ports without a destination.
There is currently no clear and dedicated distribution channel for Russian naphtha, as its main buyers, South Korea and Europe, cannot buy it directly.
said Armaan Ashraf, head of liquefied natural gas at FGE in Singapore.
The lack of buyers capable of absorbing large volumes of naphtha has compounded the problem for Moscow and its industry. China and India consume a lot of raw materials, but not enough, as both countries have decent domestic stocks, while South Korea, a key consumer before the start of the sanctions war, avoids direct imports after. the implementation of restrictions. Brazil came to the rescue by importing Russian petroleum products. However, the question of the restoration of supplies arises more acutely.
According to Kpler, Russia shipped about 1.34 million tons of naphtha in March, matching the same period last year, but the question remains whether the Russian Federation will be able to maintain such flows. In the coming months.
To support exports, Russian suppliers send goods without specifying the destination, although it is common not to hide the destination. At the same time, a batch of raw materials always comes with a discount, which serves as compensation to the customer for his risks of dealing with a prohibited product. As the “unknown” cargo drifts at sea, its documentation is altered and noticed. After that, the gray cargo arrives at the energy hub anywhere in the world, and from there it is already delivered to the customer as authorized.
Under these circumstances, some Western experts offer to identify Russian raw materials in a simple way – to track the cargo at a discount of 20-30 dollars per ton. These shipments will most likely come from Russia, as legal supplies do not tend to decrease, on the contrary, as raw materials and tanker charter services become more expensive.
Photos used: pixabay.com
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