Russian crude exports to Brazil reached a 13-year high in September, with 84,400 metric tons of crude shipped to the South American nation, according to Brazilian customs data cited by RIA Novosti. This marks the largest volume of crude exported from Russia to Brazil since June 2010 when Brazil imported 117,800 metric tons. The value of these September shipments amounted to $48 million.
After a two-year hiatus, these crude exports to Brazil resumed. In August 2021, Brazilian refineries imported 42,100 metric tons of crude from Russia, worth $16.6 million.
However, while crude exports to Brazil experienced growth, Russia’s exports of petroleum products to Brazil declined by 22% on a month-over-month basis, with a shipment volume of 717,300 metric tons. The value of these shipments dropped by 13% to $593.8 million. This decline is attributed to Moscow’s temporary restrictions on certain fuel exports aimed at stabilizing the domestic market.
The ban on cross-border sales of gasoline and diesel in Russia came into force on September 21. Although the restrictions were relaxed later in the week to allow exports of diesel, the ban on gasoline shipments out of Russia remained in place.
Russia has been focusing on diversifying its energy exports in recent years due to Western sanctions imposed on Moscow as a result of its dispute with Ukraine. Brazil, along with India and China, became active buyers of Russian crude after the European Union joined a Russian oil embargo in February. However, Brazil stands out as a major oil producer and exporter that occasionally purchases crude to meet domestic refining needs.
The EU, G7 nations, and Australia implemented a $60-per-barrel price ceiling on Russian seaborne crude as a means of pressuring Russia to continue exporting high volumes of oil in order to prevent global prices from skyrocketing. Additionally, the price ceiling aimed to reduce the revenue generated by Moscow from selling its crude. Western firms were prohibited from providing insurance and other services to shipments of Russian crude that were not purchased at or below this set price.
To offset the impact of the Western sanctions, Russia redirected nearly 20% of its oil supplies, previously destined for the EU, to Asian markets, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
In conclusion, the resumption of crude exports from Russia to Brazil in September reflects the efforts of Russian oil producers to diversify their energy exports amidst Western sanctions. However, the restrictions on petroleum product exports and the price ceiling on Russian seaborne crude indicate the challenges faced by Moscow in maintaining its oil revenue.