If the European Union bans Russian oil, President Vladimir Putin may have to count more on China and India, while some other Asian buyers are able to process the kind of crude oil that Europe usually buys.
EU leaders have agreed to follow a partial embargo on Russian crude oil shipped at sea, with Putin spending up to $ 10 billion a year on potentially lost export earnings.
Although it could eventually leave more of Russia’s flagship Ural crude – an oil brand that was popular in Europe – in need of a new home, there will be limited buyers in Asia. This is because the grade cannot be easily refined in large quantities in countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia where there is no sophisticated processing and blending capacity to handle high sulfuric type oils, traders say.
This could raise additional barrels for China and India, which have refineries that can process the Urals. Emerging from Shanghai’s month-long lockdown, Chinese state-owned and private refineries may have renewed appetite for more purchases from Russia, traders say.
However, while China and India are likely to have a limit on how much they can actually buy, the two countries have already amassed record amounts of Russian oil that has been consistently avoided by Europe since the Ukraine invasion.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)