Government data and industry sources indicate that Singapore’s diesel imports from Russia reached their highest volume in over a year in March and are expected to remain elevated in April.
This shift in global oil trade flows is a result of Europe’s ban on imports of Russian oil products, effective February 5th, and the imposition of a $100 cap on Russian diesel trade by the Group of Seven Nations, EU, and Australia, using western ships and insurance. The restrictions aim to limit Russia’s revenues while ensuring adequate supplies to the market to prevent price spikes. The Stemnitsa tanker, carrying the only cargo for the month, arrived in Singapore on March 24th from the Russian port of Nadhodka, resulting in March diesel imports hitting 46,000 tonnes (342,700 barrels).
Refinitiv, Vortexa, and an analyst also revealed that a 44,000-tonne cargo of ultra-low sulphur diesel from Kaliningrad is expected to land in Singapore in April following a ship-to-ship transfer.
Although traders anticipate sporadic Russian diesel imports into Singapore, as regional supplies have shorter shipping distances and are, therefore, more competitive, a government official stated in February that companies in the country should consider and manage any potential impact on their business activities, transactions, and customer relationships when dealing with Russian crude oil and refined products. Generally, Singapore imports gasoil from South Korea, Taiwan, and China, and exports mainly to Malaysia, Vietnam, and Australia.