Petroleum oils imports into the European Union from Russia fell from a monthly average of 8.7 million tons in the second quarter of 2022 to 1.6 million tons in the second quarter of 2023, a decrease of 82 per cent, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on September 25.
In contrast, the imports from the non-EU partners with the exception of Russia increased by 5.8 million tons, from 31.5 million to 37.3 million tons, Eurostat said.
Russia’s shares in the EU imports of petroleum oils and natural gas have been decreasing continuously over time since the second quarter of 2022, the statistics agency said.
Following a strong increase in energy imports in the EU between 2021 and 2022, the scenario is different in 2023, with imports dropping for the second quarter in a row when compared with the same period in the previous year.
In the second quarter of 2023, compared with the same quarter of 2022, EU imports decreased by 39.4 per cent in terms of value and 11.3 per cent in terms of net mass (weight expressed in tons). These results follow declines of 26.5 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively, in the first quarter of this year.
Russia’s share in total EU imports of petroleum oils was four per cent in the second quarter of 2023, a staggering difference from the 21.6 per cent share recorded in the same quarter of 2022.
EU imports of natural gas dropped significantly (-17 per cent in terms of net mass) in the second quarter of 2023, compared with the same quarter in 2022. This reduction could have been triggered by the EU reduction plan, where EU countries committed to reducing gas consumption, Eurostat said.
Natural gas imports from Russia fell from a monthly average of 5.1 million tons in the second quarter of 2022 to 2.5 million tons in the second quarter of 2023.
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine led the EU to implement several packages of sanctions, which directly and indirectly affected the trade of oils and natural gas.
“The impact is now visible in a growing diversification of energy suppliers,” Eurostat said.
Regarding petroleum oil, the EU ban on seaborne imports of Russian crude oil entered into force on December 5 2022, followed by the embargo on refined oil products as of February 5 2023, which impacted results in the first and second quarters of 2023.
In the second quarter of 2022, Russia was the leading supplier of petroleum oils, with a share of 15.9 per cent of total EU imports. In the second quarter of 2023, Russia ranked only 12th, with a share of 2.7 per cent, down 13.2 percentage points (pp) compared with 2022.
By contrast, Norway (+3.5 pp up to 13.7 per cent), Kazakhstan (+3.2 pp up to 10.2 per cent), the United States (+2.1 pp up to 13.6 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (+2.3 pp up to 9.0 per cent) saw their share increase over the same period, and Libya became an important partner, accounting for 8.1 per cent of EU petroleum oil imports, Eurostat said.
The situation was similar for natural gas in a gaseous state, with Russia’s share dropping by 14.5 pp to 13.8 per cent of total EU imports, while the shares of Algeria (+9.3 pp) and Norway (+6.2 pp) increased significantly.
In the second quarter of 2023, Norway was the EU’s top supplier with a share of 44.3 per cent of total EU imports, followed by the United Kingdom (17.8 per cent) and Algeria (16.5 per cent).
As far as liquefied natural gas is concerned, the US remains by far the EU’s leading supplier in the second quarter of 2023, with a share of 46.4 per cent in total EU imports, followed by Russia (12.4 per cent), Qatar (10.9 per cent), Algeria (9.9 per cent) and Nigeria (5.1 per cent).
Among these suppliers, only Algeria and Nigeria saw their share increase (+5.2 pp and +1.0 pp respectively) compared to the second quarter of 2022.
By contrast, the respective shares of the US, Russia and Qatar fell by -2.8 pp, -2.7 pp and -1.1 pp respectively. Norway and Oman became important suppliers, with shares of 3.3 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively.
(Photo: Acodered, via Wikimedia Commons)
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