Russia’s Urals oil sits at above $60 a barrel sanctions cap

Russian Urals oil prices rose back above the Russian price cap of $60 a barrel last week in line with a rise in global prices. Oil trading from Russia continues to rise, despite fresh US sanctions on ship owners, Reuters reported.

Calculated FOB (free on board) estimates for Urals oil cargoes loading from the Primorsk and Ust-Luga Baltic ports in December were up to $61-$63 a barrel last Tuesday November 21st, Reuters data showed.

The rise in daily Urals oil prices above the cap does not automatically mean market players have breached sanctions because the price for a particular deal is normally calculated on the basis of average prices over a given period.

If international prices fall, the actual price of the deal could still be below the cap.

Russia’s oil exports continued uninterrupted, despite a decline in the number of ship owners involved in the state’s oil trade after recent US sanction announcements, three traders told Reuters. A government spokesman had claimed that nearly all of Russia’s exports had been at above the price cap.

“We foresee a possible shortage of ships for Russian oil, but so far no one has faced an issue finding a vessel,” one of the traders said.

Freight rates for Russian Urals oil this week rose to almost $10 million per vessel per voyage from Baltic ports to the west coast of India, up from about $8 million earlier in the month and $5 million in September, two traders said. India has in recent months shown an increasing inclination to look at Venezuela for some of its imports, India and China have since February 2022 been the two major importers of Russian crude, as neither company is a member of the G7.