OREANDA-NEWS  Turkey doubled imports of Russian Urals crude oil in the first half of May compared to the same period in April, writes Reuters with reference to Refinitiv Eikon data.

From May 1 to May 15, about 193 thousand barrels of Urals per day were shipped for deliveries in the ports of Turkey, compared with 96 thousand barrels per day in the same days of April. The country remains the only major importer of Urals in Europe after the introduction of the EU embargo on oil purchases from Russia. Since the beginning of the year, Turkish companies have been buying an average of 153 thousand barrels per day.

At the same time, India is still the main importer of Urals, buying more than 50 percent of the exported volumes, followed by China. It is noted that Chinese refineries (refineries) are increasing purchases of Russian oil.Due to the supply of cheap oil from Russia, Turkish companies have managed to dramatically increase the production of petroleum products, which are sold to Europe and the United States. However, according to traders, the demand for Urals in Turkey is limited by the volume of refining capacity in the country, as well as the competition of local suppliers of petroleum products with Indian refineries.

In addition, Turkish companies began to have problems paying for Russian supplies. As Reuters explains, although Istanbul has not joined the Western sanctions against Moscow, the difficulties with conducting transactions may be due to the fact that Turkish companies are integrated into the international financial system and work with large Western banks.

Earlier, the agency reported that oil exports from Russia's western ports (Novorossiysk, Primorsk, Ust-Luga) could reach a four-year high in May. The high demand for Russian oil is explained by its low cost — the decline in prices for the benchmark Brent brand pulls down prices for Urals. The discount of Russian oil to the benchmark is decreasing, but it is still sold below the price ceiling, which reduces the risks for buyers.