Russia's Lukoil the Biggest Diesel Supplier to Europe in August

Russian oil producer and refiner Lukoil supplied nearly 40% of the estimated 1.5 million metric tons of ultra-low sulfur diesel tracked being exported from the country and nearby Baltic ports to Europe in August. OPIS Tanker Tracker data showed that 600,000 tons of diesel was shipped on 18 tankers last month from Lukoil, with the majority of the vessels chartered by its trading subsidiary Litasco, according to the OPIS Tanker Tracker. The figure includes six cargoes of 165,000 tons seen shipped by Litasco from the Latvian port of Riga, with the remainder leaving from Primorsk.

Other buyers of the Lukoil-supplied diesel included Swiss-based trader Gunvor (four cargoes of 122,000 tons), while U.K.-based Greenergy bought two cargoes from Litasco, data from traders, brokers and vessel-tracking show.

This is the second consecutive month Lukoil has been the biggest exporter of ULSD to Europe from Russia, with the country the largest supplier of the distillate to the 28 member countries.

Lukoil reported a 16.4% dip in refined products exports in the first half of 2015 compared to the prior year, with the raw data from the tanker tracker suggesting volumes may be recovering.

Overall volumes from Russia last month, at 1.2 million tons, are well down on levels seen in July (1.6 million tons). The second-largest supplier was seen as Surneftegas (312,000 tons), which sells all cargoes to trader Crudex. Gazprom had 144,000 tons tracked as being shipped from Russia.

Tracking cargoes also gives visibility on volumes traders are purchasing from Russian producers. Vitol appears to have a regular arrangement to secure about five cargoes a month from Rosneft, as well buying a few spot cargoes, including from Bashneft.

All up Vitol was tracked chartering vessels carrying 203,000. Greenergy bought what appeared to be about 172,000 tons of spot cargoes, from Crudex, Litasco and Vitol.

Lukoil refined about 66.6 million tons of refined products from its international and Russian refineries in 2014, with middle distillates about 40% of output according to its annual report.

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