Mapped: Which Ports are Receiving the Most Russian Fossil Fuel Shipments?
As the invasion of Ukraine wears on, European countries are scrambling to find alternatives to Russian fossil fuels.
In fact, an estimated 93% of Russian oil sales to the EU are due to be eliminated by the end of the year, and many countries have seen their imports of Russian gas plummet. Despite this, Russia earned €93 billion in revenue from fossil fuel exports in the first 100 days of the invasion.
While the bulk of fossil fuels travel through Europe via pipelines, there are still a number marine shipments moving between ports. The maps below, using data from MarineTraffic.com and Datalastic, compiled by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), are a look at Russia’s fossil fuel shipments during the first 100 days of the invasion.
Russia’s Crude Oil Shipments
Much of Russia’s marine shipments of crude oil went to the Netherlands and Italy, but crude was also shipped as far away as India and South Korea.
India became a significant importer of Russian crude oil, buying 18% of the country’s exports (up from just 1%). From a big picture perspective, India and China now account for about half of Russia’s marine-based oil exports.
It’s important to note that a broad mix of companies were involved in shipping this oil, with some of the companies tapering their trade activity with Russia over time. Even as shipments begin to shift away from Europe though, European tankers are still doing the majority of the shipping.
Russia’s Liquefied Natural Gas Shipments
Unlike the gas that flows along the many pipeline routes traversing Europe, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is cooled down to a liquid form for ease and safety of transport by sea. Below, we can see that shipments went to a variety of destinations in Europe and Asia.
Fluxys terminals in France and Belgium stand out as the main destinations for Russian LNG deliveries.
Russia’s Oil Product Shipments
For crude oil tankers and LNG tankers, the type of cargo is known. For this dataset, CREA assumed that oil products tankers and oil/chemical tankers were carrying oil products.
Huge ports in Rotterdam and Antwerp, which house major refineries, were the destination for many of these oil products. Some shipments also went to destinations around the Mediterranean as well.
All of the top ports in this category were located within the vicinity of Europe.
Russia’s Coal Shipments
Finally, we look at marine-based coal shipments from Russia. For this category, CREA identified 25 “coal export terminals” within Russian ports. These are specific port locations that are associated with loading coal, so when a vessel takes on cargo at one of these locations, it is assumed that the shipment is a coal shipment.
The European Union has proposed a Russian coal ban that is expected to take effect in August. While this may seem like a slow reaction, it’s one example of how the invasion of Ukraine is throwing large-scale, complex supply chains into disarray.
With such a heavy reliance on Russian fossil fuels, the EU will be have a busy year trying to secure substitute fuels – particularly if the conflict in Ukraine continues to drag on.
Charted: Commodities vs Equity Valuations (1970–2023)
The commodities-to-equities ratio recently hit a 50-year low. In the past, when this ratio reached such levels, commodity supercycles began.
Charted: Commodities vs Equity Valuations (1970–2023)
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In recent years, commodity prices have reached a 50-year low relative to overall equity markets (S&P 500). Historically, lows in the ratio of commodities to equities have corresponded with the beginning of new commodity supercycles.
The infographic above uses data from Incrementum AG and Crescat Capital LLC to show the relationship between commodities and U.S. equities over the last five decades.
What is a Commodity Supercycle?
A commodity supercycle occurs when prices of commodities rise above their long-term averages for long periods of time, even decades. Once the supply has adequately grown to meet demand, the cycle enters a downswing.
The last commodity supercycle started in 1996 and peaked in 2011, driven by raw material demand from rapid industrialization taking place in Brazil, India, Russia, and China.
|Supercycles in Commodity Prices||1899-1932||1933-1961||1962-1995||1996-2016|
|Peak of supercycle from long-term trend (%)||10.2||14.1||19.5||33.5|
|Trough of supercycle from long-term trend (%)||-12.9||-10||-38.1||23.7|
|Length of cycle from trough-to-trough (years)||33||29||34||20|
Source: Bank of Canada, IHS
While no two supercycles look the same, they all have three indicators in common: a surge in supply, a surge in demand, and a surge in price.
In general, commodity prices and equity valuations tend to have a low to negative correlation, making it rare to see the two moving in tandem in the same direction for any long period of time.
Commodity Prices and Equity Valuations
In line with the above notion, commodity prices and equity valuations have often been at odds with one another in past market cycles.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, for example, rising oil prices led to a significant decline in stock prices as higher energy costs hurt corporate profits. In contrast, during the first half of the 2000s, low oil prices were accompanied by a strong equity bull market that ended with the 2008 stock market crash.
The relationship, however, is not always straightforward and can be affected by various other factors, such as global economic growth, supply and demand, inflation, and other market events.
With the most recent commodity supercycle peaking in 2011, could the next big one be right around the corner?
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