Direct purchases have declined dramatically due to Western sanctions, according to official data
German imports of Russian crude oil have ceased almost entirely amid EU sanctions, the country’s statistics service, Destatis, reported on Monday.
Deliveries of Russian crude shrank by 99.9% in January to just 3,500 tons, down from 2.8 million tons imported in the same month last year, data showed.
The share of Russian crude in Germany’s overall imports of the fuel dropped to 0.1% in January of this year, from 36.5% recorded in the same period in 2022. The numbers come in stark contrast even with December’s figures, when Germany imported nearly 1.3 million metric tons of crude oil from Russia, having increased purchases of the commodity from November.
“Imports of crude from Russia have actually stopped,” Destatis concluded.
In December, the EU imposed an embargo on Russian seaborne crude and set a price cap on oil from the country.
To compensate for Russian supplies, Germany increased purchases from Norway (by 44%), the UK (by 42%), and Kazakhstan (by 34.6%), Destatis said. The US and the United Arab Emirates also boosted shipments to German refineries, which previously processed mostly Russian oil.
EU remains biggest importer of Russian fossil fuels
Germany paid an average of €686 ($733) per ton of imported oil last year, setting an absolute price record since the tracking of foreign trade statistics began in 1950.
The Destatis report only counts direct purchases of Russian oil, and excludes crude of Russian origin purchased indirectly from global traders through ship-to-ship transfers. The Economy Ministry in Berlin acknowledged in February that some mixing of Kazakh and Russian crude was unavoidable as it transits through Russian territory to Germany via the Druzhba pipeline.
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