Russia has started to make ship-to-ship (STS) transfers of diesel near African ports as it seeks transatlantic sales, according to traders and Refinitiv Eikon data.
A full EU embargo on Russian oil products on Feb. 5 has boosted Russian diesel exports to Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with STS loadings in the Mediterranean helping to shorten eastern routes.
Last month, Russia sent about 1.0 million tonnes of diesel to African countries, some of which could be re-exported, traders said.
“Some volumes could be blended and resold or transshipped to reduce freight costs on the long routes,” one trader said.
About 42,500 tonnes of diesel loaded on to the cargo ship Bourda in the Baltic port of Primorsk in late February was transferred ship-to-ship near the port of Lomé in Togo to the tanker Marlin Aquamarine, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
At the moment Marlin Aquamarine is heading across the Atlantic Ocean bound for the port of Pointe-a-Pierre, Trinidad and Tobago, the southernmost island country in the Caribbean, according to Refinitiv.
Russian supply of diesel to Lomé almost doubled in March to about 200,000 tonnes, Refinitiv data showed.
About 30,000 tonnes of Russian diesel has also been transhipping on to the tanker Savanna near the Nigerian port of Lagos, according to Refinitiv.
STS transfers near Lomé and Lagos are commonly used for delivering diesel and gasoline, transferring such cargoes from large Aframax and Panamax tankers to vessels able to enter smaller harbours.