The river of resource rent flowing in the direction of the Russian budget is dwindling.
Less than two months after the “price cap” and EU embargo, oil export tariffs have slashed the treasury by 60%, according to Bloomberg calculations based on finance ministry figures and tanker traffic figures.
In the week ending January 20, the budget collected only $47 million in oil tariffs, although in November and December it was about $120 million per week, and in the spring and summer the amount reached $150–160 million.
The physical volume of oil exports at the end of the week was 3 million barrels per day. Last week’s sharp rise, when tankers exported a record 3.8 million barrels a day from ports since April, has come to naught: volumes fell 22% and returned to the average of recent months.
There has been no change in a narrow group of countries buying Russian oil: the demand for barrels from the Russian Federation is still mainly represented by India and China, and only Bulgaria, which has obtained an exception from the EU ban , continues to buy from European countries.
Turkey, which in December and January reduced oil imports from Russia by 7 times, began to increase purchases: they rose to 130,000 bpd against 70,000 bpd a week earlier. However, Turkish importers are still far from the September record – 350-400 thousand barrels daily – after the country’s largest refinery STAR, owned by the Azerbaijani SOCAR group, refused to buy Urals.
Russian oil companies manage to maintain export volumes at the expense of huge discounts, and it is no longer possible to persuade some customers to pay.
According to Reuters, in January the price of Ural grade was at the level of $39-45 per barrel when shipped from Baltic ports. Traders told the agency that oilers sold some consignments to Asia at a loss – at prices well below full value.
In the budget for 2023, the Ministry of Finance included a 24% drop in oil and gas revenues – from 11.7 to 8.9 trillion rubles. But in reality, the situation could be much worse: at current Ural prices, the budget would be short by more than 2 trillion rubles, and its deficit could reach 5 trillion, estimates Evgeny Suvorov, an economist at Centrocredit Bank.