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Türkiye’s Urals oil purchases hit 7-month high in May

01.06.23 11:25

Türkiye’s purchases of Russian Urals oil hit a seven-month high in May as Turkish refiners took advantage of low prices for the grade, Refinitiv Eikon data showed and traders said.

Türkiye is the only major importer of seaborne Urals in Europe after most other countries agreed on an embargo on such purchases over Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation.”

President Tayyip Erdoğan and his supporters on Monday celebrated an election win that extended his governance into a third decade, promising continued trade with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden congratulated him along with many other world leaders.

Some 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Urals oil were loaded for delivery to Türkiye’s ports in May, the highest level since October 2022 and nearly double April’s supplies, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and Reuters calculations.

Refiners in the Mediterranean, meanwhile, are suffering from shortages of sour oil as Iraq halted around 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude exports from Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) region at the end of March following an arbitration case against Türkiye.

Türkiye increased Urals oil imports last year and has bought about 150,000 bpd of the grade so far this year, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and Reuters calculations, nearly the same as in January-May 2022.

Traders said that the country’s ability to import Russian oil is limited by its refining capacity and competition with refiners in Asia, Daily Sabah reports.
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