Russian diesel increases towards Turkey for now
Turkey’s Russian seaborne diesel/gasoil imports hit record highs in February as Russian barrels continue to muscle in and redistribute European energy flows.
While Turkey imported only 38% of its total diesel from Russia during H1 2022, by H2 2022 the share of diesel imports from Russia had surged to 50% and continued to grow during January and February 2023.
From Sept – Dec 2022, Russian diesel imports into Turkey rose for three consecutive months before dropping slightly in Jan 2023 and increasing by 24% in Feb 2023 m-o-m to reach a Vortexa data set high for this flow of 235 kbd.
While the rise in Russian volumes has been somewhat offset by a drop in imports from other countries, specifically India, Israel, Greece and Italy the total seaborne volumes which have arrived into Turkish ports during the second half of 2022 have averaged 320kbd, almost 100 kbd more than the average imports for 2022 (242 kbd) and 2019 (223 kbd) and look to be on the rise. While Turkey’s share of diesel imports from India plummeted from 24% during H1 2022 to only 13% during H2 2022, India has had no problems redirecting diesel to core Europe.
How much Russian diesel can Turkey absorb?
Turkey diesel demand did increase by 8% in 2022 (359 kbd) compared to 2019 (282 kbd) (JODI) however so did domestic diesel production which jumped by 27% in 2022 compared to 2019 (JODI), concluding that Turkey looks very well supplied with diesel and slightly less dependent on seaborne flows than previous years. The excess volumes landing in Turkey are likely an interim solution for Russia as they seek consistent buyers in Brazil (looking likely) and East of Suez markets which may take more time in terms of voyage length and logistics (STS operations, storage facilities).
Russia’s diesel loadings from its Baltic and Black Sea ports have held stable in the last few months (1.15mbd Dec, 1.13 Jan, 1.13 Feb) but there are strong signs that more Russian diesel cargoes are facing difficulties finding a home as Russia diesel on the water (which represents vessels in a cargo movement between departing and arriving to their destination) hits fresh record highs in February.