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Crisis hit Sri Lanka snapping up cheap Russian oil -Financial Times

Debt-laden Sri Lanka has been buying up large amounts of discounted Russian oil amid an economic meltdown that sent the country into default for the first time in May, Financial Times reported today

Since March, Data from analysis firms showed the Asian country has been buying so much Russian oil that those barrels account for all its imports, Kpler found. But OilX’s analysis showed Russia was the sole supplier in just some months since May. Both analytics firms compile their own vessel-tracking data.

Since February, Russian Urals crude has on traded at an average discount of about $30 per barrel to the North Sea Dated benchmark price, according to data provider Argus Media.

Sri Lanka’s 7.1mn barrels of crude oil imports last year came from the United Arab Emirates, but Russia has accounted for 2.6mn barrels since May this year, about 79 per cent of the total ordered, according to Refinitiv. Data from OilX showed 60 per cent of Sri Lanka’s crude imports since May has come from Russia.

The report quoting Analysts said it was unclear whether Sri Lanka was buying directly from a Russian oil company — which would suggest a government-to-government deal — or buying spot cargoes from traders. Sri Lanka’s former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa in July asked Putin to help his country import fuel.

A spokesperson for Sri Lanka’s current president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, did not respond to a request for comment the report said.

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