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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gas Oil Exports Drop By 8.1% in September

LONDON — Russian gas oil exports flowing from Baltic and Black Sea ports fell to 505,000 barrels per day in September, 45,000 bpd, or 8.1 percent, down from August’s total of 550,000 bpd, a leading industry analyst said Wednesday.

Geneva-based Petrologistics said Russia’s seaborne fuel oil exports had risen by 30,000 bpd to 680,000 bpd in September as traders rushed to move vessels before a fresh set of Russian export curbs take effect.

Exports of jet fuel and light products, principally gasoline and naphtha, rose by 20,000 bpd to 125,000 bpd. This left total seaborne exports of oil products steady at 1.31 million bpd.

Local oil companies were directed to export no more than 10 percent of their fuel oil output and 25 percent of gas oil from September, but traders said the measures only began to bite around the start of this month.

The Fuel and Energy Ministry said earlier this month that the fuel oil restrictions would be tightened to a maximum of 5 percent.

Russia is also set to raise fuel oil export tariffs from November to 27 euros per ton from a current 20 euros. The tariff for gas oil will be increased to 32 euros from 25 euros and for crude oil to 34 from 27.

The fresh export curbs, coupled with a seasonal decline as domestic needs for power and heating take precedence, are expected to produce a sharp fall in export flows this month.

"I can already see a big dip [in exports of oil products] this month, partly due to high winds and sea swells at Black Sea and Baltic ports, but also because less material is available," said Petrologistics president Conrad Gerber.

"There is a quite appreciable drop," he said, predicting a fall of at least 100,000 bpd in October fuel oil exports, "or more likely 200,000 bpd."

Oil product exports have been running at very high levels this year, with fuel oil flows reaching historic highs since early summer.

The September fuel oil export level of 680,000 bpd is still nearly 25 percent up on last September’s 550,000 bpd total, according to Petrologistics.

Gas oil exports of 505,000 bpd are well up on last year’s 415,000 bpd level, while Russian seaborne exports of the other products have risen from 75,000 bpd last year to 125,000 bpd this September.

Gerber identified that high international prices for oil products, spurred by soaring futures prices, as the main reason for the export surge.