Russia’s oil export revenues jumped to $20 billion in May from $18 billion in April as prices surged, the IEA said Wednesday.
The country has brought in $20 billion a month on average from oil exports, up from $15 billion last year.
India has massively stepped up its purchases of Russian oil, cushioning the blow from a drop in sales to Europe.
Russia’s oil export revenues jumped by 11% to $20 billion in May as energy prices surged, taking the country’s earnings back to pre-war levels, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.
The IEA’s latest monthly market report said Russia’s overall exports of oil fell in May, but revenues nonetheless grew due to the run-up in prices.
Russian revenues climbed from $18 billion in April, returning them to their January level of $20 billion. However, revenues were still below March’s $22 billion figure.
On average, Russia earned $20 billion a month from its oil sales during the first five months of the year, as a pivot towards India helped cushion the blow of import bans by the US and the UK and “self-sanctioning” from European buyers. The figure is up sharply from an average of $15 billion a month in 2021.
As a major energy exporter, Russia has benefitted from the more than 50% rise in the price of oil in 2022, which has itself largely been a result of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, has surged 55% this year to around $120 a barrel as of Wednesday.
Russia’s benchmark Urals crude, is trading at around a $30 discount to Brent but is nonetheless sharply higher than at the start of the war.
In May, Russia’s crude oil shipments held steady, but its exports of refined products fell for the third month running, the IEA said.
Although exports to Europe have fallen, India has massively stepped up its imports of Russian oil this year from next to nothing, attracted by the steep price discount. China has marginally increased its purchases, analysts say.
“India is a full-blown sensation story,” Viktor Katona, head of sour crude analysis at the consultancy Kpler, told Insider. “It literally had zero cargoes in February, whilst in April, May it had 34 to 35 cargoes,” he said, talking about shipments of Russian oil.
Analysts say India is importing around 800,000 to 900,000 barrels per day of Russian oil, up from less than 100,000 before the war.
The European Union has said it plans to phase out imports of Russian oil, aiming to cut their purchases by 90% by the end of the year. Analysts have predicted Russian oil production could drop by 1.5 million barrels a day, from around 10.5 million bpd currently.
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