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Russia offers Asian countries discounts of up to 30% on oil contracts

Russia has approached several Asian countries to offer them possible long-term oil contracts at a discount of up to 30 percent, Bloomberg reported, citing a Western official.

The talks could be a sign that Russia is trying to avoid G7 talks on creating an exception for impending EU sanctions against Russian oil, the official told Bloomberg.

Under pressure from Western sanctions, Russia is exporting more fuel to Asia and other distant markets, according to data from Refinitiv and traders.

The European Union reduced its imports of Russian petroleum products from March and agreed to a complete ban from February 2023. In August, Russian fuel oil exports to the Netherlands and Estonia fell to zero from 365,000 tonnes and , respectively, 170,000 tons in July.

Fuel deliveries to Singapore from Russian ports could exceed 350,000 tonnes this month, after there were no deliveries in June and July.

In July, Reuters announced, citing sources who wished to remain anonymous, that the EU could ban the import and transit of some fuels from Russia six months before the planned date.

Russia maintained its position as China’s biggest oil supplier for the third consecutive month in July, with Chinese buyers increasing supplies at low prices and reducing more expensive purchases from countries such as Angola and Brazil, according to Agerpres.

Western sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine have prompted many oil importers to cut trade ties with Moscow, so spot prices for Russian crude have fallen significantly. In February, following the meeting between Russian and Chinese officials, the two countries announced that their friendship “has no limits”.

Data from China’s Customs Administration show that Russian oil imports, including deliveries through the East Siberia Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline and those by sea from Russian ports, totaled 7.15 million tonnes last month, up 7.6% from from last year.

However, Russian deliveries in July, equivalent to about 1.68 million barrels per day (bpd), are below May’s record level of nearly two million bpd. China is the largest buyer of Russian oil.

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