Russian Base Oil Exports Rose

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Russian Base Oil Exports Rose
Oil tankers being loaded in the port of Primorsk, Russia. © Alexandr Medvedkov

Russian base oil exports jumped 21% in December after an 11% decline in November, a trading company concluded, providing an upbeat end to a volatile year marked by supply shortages.

“In December, Russia loaded 123,000 tons of base oils overseas, the highest monthly volume for the entire year,” Denis Varaksin, base oil trader at DYM Resources, said in a recent news release.

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In November, Russia exported 102,000 tons of base oil, an 11% drop compared to the October loadings. This was related to the seasonal pause in river exports, which started a month earlier than usual, according to DYM, a Berlin-based petroleum products trading company.

It found that exports from key Black Sea ports rose to 28,000 tons in December from 21,000 tons in November, up 33% on a monthly basis and the best result for the year.

The export of Russian base oil from Baltic Sea ports grew by 7%, to 42,000 tons in December from 39,000 tons in November.

DYM registered a 22% spike in railway base oil exports from Russia in December. Railway exports to Belarus grew by 43% and to Lithuania by 46%, compared to the previous month, Varaksin said.

In December “exports to Kazakhstan on the contrary were twice as low, compared to November,” he said. “This is related to the seasonally low demand during the cold period of the year.”

Russian domestic base oil supplies in November fell by 6% to 116,000 tons, compared to 123,000 tons supplied in October, the trader said.

DYM found that Lukoil’s December rail exports from Volgograd reached 23,000 tons, compared to the November loadings of 21, 000 tons. Base oil exports from Lukoil’s Perm refinery rose 21% in December and from Rosneft’s Novokuibyshevsk refinery 29%, compared to November.

“Lukoil’s refinery in Perm is expected to decrease its base oil output in March due to the maintenance start,” Varaksin said.

At the end of March, Rosneft is planning to start maintenance at its Novokuibyshevsk refinery, and will probably resume its base oil exports in June, he said.

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