Russian Oil No Longer Sells At A Discount As Nobody Complies With Western Sanctions

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Mar 04, 2024 - 03:45 AM

Remember when, in the immediate aftermath of the Ukraine war, Russian oil immediately traded down to a discount of as much as 30% below spot Brent as the entire western world suddenly found itself locked out of access to the most valuable Russian export (which also meant that China and India were the only natural buyers left) and the price of Russian oil had to reflect the explicit plunge in demand?

Well, that's no longer the case because in the two years since the start of the Ukraine conflict, it became apparent that Western sanctions were merely a theatrical publicity stunt as the alternative - strict enforcement - would have sent oil prices soaring and that would be unacceptable to a Biden administration terrified of losing the November elections if and when oil and gasoline prices surges.

And as fear of enforcement became a non-issue over time, so did the discount of Russian oil to Brent, which brings us to today, and Goldman's "chart of the week" which illustrates the collapse in the discount on Russian crude oil close to zero relative to Brent, according to the bank's estimates using the most recent customs data for December.