Asia's thirst for cheap Russian oil hits Opec's No 2 producer Iraq

The Iraqi grades are an outlier in Asia, where robust demand led to an earlier-than-usual start of the trading cycle for physical crude buying

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

Sharon Cho | Bloomberg
Iraq may end up as one of the biggest losers from cheap Russian barrels flowing to Asia with lukewarm demand for its key grades.

There have been no spot purchases of Iraq’s Basrah Medium or Basrah Heavy crude so far in the current Asia trading cycle, while a tender to sell Heavy oil didn’t get awarded, said traders who buy and sell the grades. Typically, India and China are major buyers of these varieties, although they’ve boosted purchases of discounted Russian crude after the invasion of Ukraine.

Basrah Medium and Heavy crude are the two main grades exported by Iraq to international markets, so any cut to volumes or prices would be a blow to OPEC’s second-biggest producer. Sellers of

First Published: Jun 23 2022 | 1:05 PM IST

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