The United States doubled the purchase of oil products from Russia
In the first half of 2020, the United States more than doubled its purchases of Russian oil products, RBC reported citing data from the Federal Customs Service of Russia.
In just six months, the U.S. purchased 9.1 million tons of oil products from Russia, the largest volume in 16 years. In the first half of last year, the United States imported only 4 million tons of Russian oil products.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) gives even more significant numbers. According to its data, imports of Russian oil products in just five months of 2020 (data for June is not yet available) reached 67.9 million barrels, or 9.3 million tons. The discrepancy is explained by the fact that the Russian customs only take into account direct supplies to the U.S. as part of exports, while American statistics include imports of all Russian oil, even if it was supplied through third countries.
The USA became the second largest buyer of Russian oil products after the Netherlands. Malta is on the third place. But it should be considered that the Netherlands and Malta are transit hubs for oil products from Russia.
According to the US Department of Energy, the country began to increase purchases of Russian oil products since April last year. Reuters earlier reported that the Americans are replacing Venezuelan oil, which fell under the sanctions of the White House, with Russian raw materials. Refineries on the Gulf of Mexico in the U.S. are focused on heavy Venezuelan oil, which is now unavailable.
American oil producers had to pay attention to Russian fuel oil: last year, its import more than doubled to 11 million tons, and in the first seven months the USA received 6.4 million tons of fuel oil.