Russian Liftings for Western Options at 12-Year Low

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 25, 2014

By Gleb Gorodyankin

MOSCOW, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Exports of Russian crude oil to Western markets are set to fall by almost a third in December and reach a 12-year low as traders withhold cargoes to wait for lower duties from Jan. 1, a preliminary export programme showed on Tuesday.

Total seaborne Urals crude exports are seen at 5.3 million tonnes next month, their lowest since February 2003, when they stood at 5.1 million tonnes.

The decreasing volumes may bolster Russia's position in talks to persuade members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut its oil production to bolster prices, which fell by 30 percent from a June peak.

According to the preliminary schedule, Urals oil exports from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk are expected to decline to 2 million tonnes next month from 3.3 million tonnes in November.

Loadings from the neighbouring Ust-Luga port are seen declining to 1.5 million tonnes in December from 2.1 million tonnes this month.

Urals oil exports from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk are expected to decrease to 1.815 million tonnes in December from 1.980 million tonnes planned in the current month.

Russia could cut its crude oil export duty by around a third to $197.5 per tonne in January from $277.5 per tonne set for December, if prices remain relatively stable to mid-December, Reuters calculations show.

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