Oil traders are directing huge amounts of Russian diesel to the European Union, with an import ban on the fuel just days way.
Countries from the bloc imported more than 600,000 barrels-a-day of diesel-type fuel from Russia in the first 23 days of this month, according to data from Vortexa Ltd. compiled by Bloomberg. That’s a little more than both the average imports for 2022 and arrivals over the same period last year, before Moscow’s troops invaded Ukraine.
The EU’s ban on seaborne imports of Russian oil products takes effect Feb. 5. The country is by far the bloc’s largest foreign supplier of the fuel, which is vital for running heavy machinery and powering trucks that deliver goods. European prices for the fuel have risen in recent weeks, ahead of the trade restrictions.
Several vessels hauling millions of barrels of diesel-type fuel are sailing toward EU countries, signaling arrival before Feb. 5, tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. Those do not include the Priority C, laden with Russian diesel and which has been floating off the coast of Bilbao, Spain for about three weeks.