Column-EU ban on Russian crude to exacerbate disruptions to global flows

Column-EU ban on Russian crude to exacerbate disruptions to global flows

Posted 1 year ago in News and Politics.

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The European Union's decision to cut 90 per cent of its oil imports from Russia will accelerate a move already underway - that is Moscow trying to sell as much crude as it can to Asian buyers.

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Russia is likely to find China and India particularly willing, as the former reopens much of its economy from strict zero-COVID lockdowns and the latter seeks to lower its sky-high energy import bill.

The EU agreed to end seaborne imports of crude from Russia, European Council President Charles Michel said in a tweet at the end of a two-day summit of the bloc's 27 leaders.

"This immediately covers more than 2/3 of oil imports from Russia, cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine. Maximum pressure on Russia to end the war," he said.

The remaining third of the EU's oil imports from Russia come through the Druzhba pipeline, but Poland and Germany aim to stop purchases by the end of the year, which would mean the EU will halt 90 per cent of all crude purchases from Russia.

News of the ban kept Brent futures well bid, with the more active August contract rising as high as $118.80 a barrel in early trade, versus Monday's close of $117.60.

Benchmark front-month futures are up about 26 per cent since hitting $96.93 a barrel on March 16, which was the lowest price since Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Feb. 24, an act that has triggered a range of sanctions by Europe and other Western countries against Moscow.

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