Since the invasion, there has been an increase in the number of vessels operating in the Black Sea with lost AIS signals for one day or more, but there is no indication yet that this increase is linked to suspicious behaviour including covert ship-to-ship (STS) activity.
The Russian war in Ukraine is in its seventh day and financial sanctions on Russian individuals and banks are set to cripple the financial sector. Energy exports have not been the target of sanctions and even though the effect has made buyers and shippers wary, trade volumes have been unmoved so far as current loadings would have traded and had vessels fixed before the invasion. But, with Urals hitting a new record discount to Brent, finding buyers over the coming weeks is set to become increasingly difficult.
While a full ban on Russian oil exports would undoubtedly have a severe impact on the Russian economy, it would also cause widespread disruption to the global oil market. Europe would be the worst affected, relying on both Russian crude and product to a large extent.
In this update Alex Booth, Kpler's Head of Research comments on the developments through the day in Ukraine and the potential market and geopolitical ramifications.