Russia is taking away an ever large slice of the so called dark tanker fleet from Venezuela and Iran to ship cargoes to Asia.
According to brokers Braemar, 33 tankers that have previously carried either sanctions-hit Iranian or Venezuelan crude have loaded Russian oil or oil products since April this year with aframaxes and suezmaxes leading the way.
Out of the dark vessel fleet that was previously carrying Iran or Venezuelan crude almost exclusively to China, around eight vessels are now used to carry Russian crude to India, 14 to China and two to both.
“More switches are likely to happen. That is because Russian grades are of better quality versus many Iranian grades that are heavier and with higher sulfur content and are sold at steeper discounts,” Braemar forecast in a new tanker report.
Export volumes from Iranian and Venezuelan crude have slid over the past few months in the same period where Russia to China volumes have picked up.