The country shipped over 800,000 tons of the fuel to the continent in the first quarter as it redirected deliveries from the EU
Russia’s gasoline exports surged by nearly 50% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, largely due to increased shipments to Africa, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Kpler ship tracking data.
Russia’s total gasoline exports over January-March amounted to 2.2 million tons, up from about 1.5 million tons in the same period last year, according to the report. Africa imported about a third of these volumes, or some 812,000 tons, the data showed.
The cargoes were delivered directly to the continent, the report states. Prior to the EU ban on Russian seaborne oil products introduced in February, Russia used to export gasoline to Africa via Latvia’s Ventspils Port. Refinitiv data showed that Ventspils imported about 550,000 tons of Russian gasoline intended for Africa in the fourth quarter of last year.
Most of the Russian gasoline delivered to Africa in the first quarter went to Nigeria, amounting to 488,000 tons, up from a mere 38,000 tons in the same period last year.
Russia has been forced to find new buyers for its oil and petroleum products due to the EU ban, as well as the $100 per barrel price cap on Russian gasoline and gasoil introduced this year by a coalition of G7 countries. Russia used to export around 2.5 million tons (60,000 barrels per day) of gasoline to Europe annually.
Russia repeatedly warned that it would not sell its oil and oil products to countries that support or even mention price caps in their supply contracts.
Apart from Africa, Russia has been stepping up deliveries of oil and petroleum products to countries in Asia and the Middle East. Earlier this week, reports emerged that it recently made its first fuel deliveries to Iran by rail, sending about 30,000 tons of gasoline and diesel to the country in February and March.
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