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Ukraine war: Russia earns $20bn from oil revenue in May

·3-min read
Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin's oil revenues shot up 11% from the previous months despite sanctions. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty
Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin's oil revenues shot up 11% from the previous months despite sanctions. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP via Getty

Russia continued to rake in oil revenues in May despite a global boycott from companies and most countries following its invasion of Ukraine, a new report has shown.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the Kremlin's oil-export revenues surged to around $20bn last month, an 11% increase from the month before, despite shipping lower volumes.

Its latest monthly report, published on Wednesday, said this takes Moscow's total revenue for shipping oil and crude products roughly back to levels before the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian exports fell by about 3% due to lower oil-product flows, the Paris-based agency estimates.

Read more: Oil price hits $124 as EU bans most Russian imports

Meanwhile, crude shipped during the month grew by nearly 500,000 barrels a day compared to the start of the year, largely thanks to higher deliveries in Asia.

"China and India, which have both sharply increased crude oil purchases from Russia, are net product exporters and have no need to lift Russian products," it said.

Last month, EU leaders agreed in principle to cut 90% of oil imports from the Kremlin by the end of 2022, sending oil prices sky rocketing and breach the psychological $124 barrier.

Brent crude (BZ=F) fell 1.2% to $119.88 a barrel on Wednesday, while US light crude (CL=F) was 1.2% lower to $117.46 at the time of writing.

Shares in FTSE 100 (^FTSE) oil giants Shell (SHEL.L) and rival BP (BP.L) fell 1% and 0.9% respectively in mid-morning trade in London.

The IEA also warned that supply will lag behind global demand as it forecast oil demand will surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2023 following three years of COVID lockdowns and the economic shock of the Ukraine crisis.

World oil demand is forecast to reach 101.6 million barrels per day, with much of the growth in demand anticipated to be driven by China as it emerges from lengthy pandemic lockdowns.

Chinese oil demand is forecast to grow by 930,000 barrels a day.

For 2022, it kept its demand forecast unchanged at 99.4 million barrels a day. Demand stood at 100.4 million barrels in 2019 before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency raised its oil supply forecasts for this year by 600,000 barrels a day to 99.8 million bp. That means the agency sees a 400,000 barrel-a-day surplus in the oil market in 2022.

Read more: FTSE and European stocks rally as ECB calls meeting to discuss market rout

The IEA, which advises major economies, expects major developed economies to contend with a darkening outlook and rampant inflation as the crude market volatility remains.

It said: "Economic fears persist, as various international institutions have recently released downbeat outlooks. Similarly, tightening central bank policy, the impact of a soaring US dollar and rising interest rates on the purchasing power of emerging economies mean the risks to our outlook are concentrated on the downside.

"Higher oil prices and a weaker economic outlook continue to temper our oil demand growth expectations. But in 2023, a resurgent China will boost non-OECD demand growth, offsetting a slowdown in the OECD."

It comes as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) worldwide GDP to grow by just over 1% in 2023.

Watch: Why are gas prices rising?

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