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Middle East diesel exports to Europe rise to 10-month high as Russia mostly stays away

Highlights

Saudi Arabia top diesel supplier from Middle East

Europe's diesel inventories seen rising

Record crude intake by Middle East refineries

  • Author
  • Claudia Carpenter
  • Editor
  • Shashwat Pradhan
  • Commodity
  • Crude Oil Refined Products Upstream

Middle East diesel exports to Europe rose to a 10-month high in April with Russian product mostly heading to Turkey, Brazil and Africa, according to latest ship tracking data.

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Diesel shipments from the Middle East to Europe averaged 531,000 b/d in April, the most since June 2023 and up from 320,000 b/d in March, according to S&P Global Commodities at Sea data.

Saudi Arabia was again the largest supplier, at 260,000 b/d. Russian diesel exports were 788,000 b/d, with Turkey, Brazil and African nations including Tunisia, Libya and Egypt among the larger destinations, the data showed. The Middle East has been considered a key alternative source of refined products after the EU banned imports of Russian oil products on Feb. 5, 2023, after its invasion of Ukraine.

Western Europe will increase its diesel stockpiles by the end of this year, reaching 381.8 million barrels by September from 360.3 million barrels in March, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

"Diesel demand is still weak in Europe, but it is forecast to rebound in the second half on improved economic fundamentals," said Naing Oo, senior adviser, global oil analytics, Commodity Insights. "On the supply side, refinery runs in Europe were down in March and April, with some planned and others unplanned shutdowns." Europe is traditionally a net importer of diesel, he added.

Supplies of all kinds of oil products are increasing in the Middle East, where refineries are expected to consume 9.4 million b/d of crude in the second quarter, a new record after processing 9.2 million b/d in the first quarter, according to a Commodity Insights report on April 26.