Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Russian Urals crude oil

The Russian Urals grade of crude oil, relative to Brent (the international benchmark), has dropped by nearly $30 since the invasion of Ukraine, only exacerbated by the onset of sanctions. Although energy payments haven't been sanctioned yet, given the West's dependence on Russian commodities, it hasn't stopped buyers from pulling out and seeking alternatives.

Urals-Brent price difference

For Russia, this means it is making less per barrel of oil it exports. But for other countries, it's a bargain. India, the third largest oil consuming nation, is an example. And now India's central bank is in talks with Moscow on a rupee-ruble trade agreement. Should other countries who remain tied to Russian exports do the same, this spread will be worth watching. 

Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi in New Delhi in December 2021.

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