Shipments of the fuel to the South American nation soared by 6,000% last year as Moscow seeks new outlets for its petroleum products
Russia has unseated the US as the largest exporter of petroleum products to Brazil, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing official government figures and data from the analytics firm Kpler.
As Russia has been focused on finding new outlets for its petroleum products in light of Western sanctions, one of the new buyers has been Brazil.
In 2023, the fellow BRICS member imported 6.1 million tons of Russian diesel fuel worth $4.5 billion in 2023, according to the report. This is up from just 101,000 tons, worth $95 million, in the previous year, a 6,000% increase in terms of volumes.
Meanwhile, Russian shipments of fuel oil to Brazil in 2023 were worth $5.3 billion, up from only $1.1 billion recorded in 2022, marking year-on-year growth of 400%.
According to data tracked by Kpler, Brazil overtook Türkiye in October to become the largest buyer of Russian diesel, while the massive surge in diesel imports recorded in 2023 means Russia has overtaken the US as Brazil’s largest supplier of the fuel.
Meanwhile, the surge in fuel oil exports pushed Russia’s refined petroleum product shipments in the four weeks to December 31 to the highest level in eight months, data from Vortexa and compiled by Bloomberg earlier this month showed.
Brazil’s trade is “influenced by multiple factors” and the significant increase in fuel imports is “the result of decisions made by private agents and follows the logic of supply and demand,” according to the country’s Industry and Foreign Trade Ministry, as cited by FT.
Government officials also told the outlet that the sharp increase in purchases helped keep consumer prices reined in. Low domestic fuel prices also help the country’s massive agriculture sector.
Russia started diversifying its energy supplies in 2022 after the EU, G7, and allies imposed an embargo on seaborne Russian oil along with a $60-per-barrel price cap for insuring and transporting crude in an effort to curb the country’s energy revenues. Similar restrictions were subsequently introduced for exports of petroleum products. As a result, Russian oil producers have rerouted supplies to Asia and Latin America.
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