Since Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine over a year ago, the country has continued to export fossil fuels to various nations worldwide. The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) estimates that Russia has generated over $315 billion in revenue from fossil fuel exports since the invasion, with almost half of that amount ($149 billion) coming from EU nations.
This article delves into the countries importing the most Russian fossil fuels since the invasion, and the billions of dollars in revenue Russia has generated from these exports.
Top Importers of Russian Fossil Fuels
China has been the largest importer of Russian fossil fuels since the start of the invasion, primarily importing crude oil. That has made up over 80% of its imports, totaling more than $55 billion.
Germany, the largest economy in the EU, is the second-largest importer of Russian fossil fuels. That is mainly due to its natural gas imports worth more than $12 billion alone.
Turkey, a NATO member but not an EU member, follows Germany as the third-largest importer of Russian fossil fuels since the invasion. The country is likely to overtake Germany soon, as it is unaffected by the bloc’s Russian import bans.
However, bans and price caps have emerged on Russian coal imports, crude oil seaborne shipments, and petroleum product imports. They result in a decline of daily fossil fuel revenues from the EU of nearly 85%. The bloc’s reduction in purchases has caused daily revenue to fall from its peak of $774 million per day in March 2022 to just $119 million as of February 22nd, 2023.
Russia’s Declining Fossil Fuel Revenues
Along with the EU’s reductions in purchases, a key contributing factor to the decline in Russian fossil fuel revenues has been the decline in Russian crude oil’s price. These prices dropped by nearly 50% since the invasion, from $99 to $50 a barrel today.
Russian fossil fuel revenues have declined by more than 50% to just $560 million daily. A steep decline from their peak on March 24th of around $1.17 billion in daily revenue.
India has stepped up its fossil fuel imports since the invasion, from $3 million daily to $81 million per day as of February 22nd. However, this increase doesn’t come close to the $655 million hole left by reduced imports from EU nations.
Similarly, African nations have doubled their Russian fuel imports since December of last year. That said, Russian seaborne oil product exports have still declined by 21% overall since January, according to S&P Global.
Other Factors Impacting Revenues
The decline in Russian fossil fuel revenues can also be attributed to the EU’s 10th set of sanctions announced on February 25th. The EU banned the import of bitumen, and related materials like asphalt, synthetic rubbers, and carbon blacks. These sanctions are estimated to reduce Russian export revenues by almost $1.4 billion.
Whether these declines in fossil fuel revenues will continue is yet to be determined. Nevertheless, as the EU continues implementing bans and price caps on Russian fossil fuel imports, the impact on Russian fossil fuel revenues is evident.