Russia ULSD Monthly Shipments Surge to Five-Month High
Shipments of ultra-low-sulfur diesel from Russia and nearby Baltic ports hit 1,788,000 metric tons (13.3 million bbl) in January, the third-largest volumes ever seen and a five-month high, according to the OPIS Tanker Tracker on FleetMon.com.
Most shipments were exported to Europe, where monthly imports of the middle distillate also reached a five-month high, data shows.
Some 64 tankers were tracked loading diesel cargoes from Russia, or Baltic ports, including 45 vessels at the biggest export port of Primorsk.
The tally includes 306,000 tons shipped from ports in Lithuania and Lativa, taking Russia's total to 1.48 million tons, just down from the record of 1.75 million tons in July 2014 and 1.5 million tons last April.
Russia surpassed the U.S. last year to become the biggest supplier of ULSD to Europe according to European Commission trade data (Eurostat), as upgraded refineries began shipping higher specification fuel to the 28-member countries.
The two countries supplied 79% of the 32 million tons imported into Europe in the first 10 months of the year, according to the most recent Eurostat data available.
Russian exports of ULSD to Europe gained 58% in the first 10 months of 2014 compared to the prior period in 2013, while U.S. exports climbed 22%, Eurostat data compiled by OPIS shows.
Exports of ULSD to Europe from the U.S. were tracked at nearly 1.5 million tons on 34 vessels in January, with an additional 250,000 tons arriving from the west coast of India. That took total Europe-bound ULSD shipments to 3.5 million tons for January, the highest monthly volumes since July 2014, according to both Eurostat data and the November and December volume estimates from the OPIS Tanker Tracker.
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