Crude oil imports from Russia nearly 14 percent lower in value since March

An oil tanker off the Dutch coast
© CBS / Alrik Swagerman
Prompted by European sanctions against Russia, the Netherlands imported less crude oil from Russia in the last ten months of 2022 than in the same period of 2021. Imports from other oil-producing countries rose significantly at the same time. Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Russian crude oil prices have increased less rapidly than crude oil prices from other major oil exporting countries. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on newly released figures.

In the period March-December 2022, the Netherlands’ imported over 43 billion euros in crude oil. This is nearly 78 percent more than in the same period in 2021. A major factor in this increase are the higher prices of oil. The volume of Dutch crude oil imports fell by approximately 15 percent. The total value of crude oil imports from Russia in this period declined from 7.2 billion euros in 2021 to 6.2 billion euros in 2022, representing a drop of nearly 14 percent. The vast majority of Dutch oil imports come from Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Imports from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and the United States rose relatively rapidly.

As a result of these developments, Russia’s share in the crude oil imports fell from 29.3 percent in 2021 to 14.2 percent in 2022. In both 2021 and 2022, Russia therefore remained the major import partner for crude oil.

Import value of crude oil, March - December 2022
LandDevelopment (y-o-y % change)
Saudi Arabia287.3
United States84.9
United Kingdom46.1

Steadily decreasing crude oil imports from Russia

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union has imposed new sanctions on companies doing business with Russia. In 2022, European imports of mineral fuels from Russia were also increasingly restricted, partly due to a price cap on Russian oil and petroleum products. In turn, Russia significantly downsized its natural gas supplies to Europe.
Dutch crude oil imports from Russia were still increasing substantially up to March 2022 inclusive, but declined almost continuously after that. By December, the imports from Russia had virtually stopped altogether.

Import value of Russian crude oil
JaarMaandImport value (million euros)
2021April 677.4

Price of Russian oil dropped relatively sharply as of March

The price of crude oil expressed in euros per barrel has increased considerably since early 2022. Especially since March 2022, just after the war in Ukraine broke out. However, as of March 2022, price movements of crude oil originating from Russia have shown a very different course compared with the price movements of crude oil from other countries. The Russian oil price had followed the average price paid by the Netherlands for crude oil until then.

As of March and particularly beween August and October, Russian oil was lower in price than the lowest reported price of oil from the five other major suppliers: Great Britain, the United States, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Subsequently, the average price of crude oil dropped across the board, whereas the price of Russian oil declined less sharply. On 5 December, the import ban on Russian oil went into effect, resulting in much less oil being sold in this month. This may have driven up the price and caused it to be more in line with other countries compared to the preceding months.

Crude oil import prices1
   Five other top exporters (euro per barrel)Minimal and maximal oil price other five top exporters (euro per barrel)Russia (euro per barrel)
2021January44.4130.94 - 53.8344.29
2021February49.1043.22 - 56.0448.49
2021March55.6849.18 - 59.7553.61
2021April55.2048.20 - 60.1151.68
2021May57.3650.57 - 62.8454.02
2021June59.2152.13 - 65.0156.97
2021July62.4844.22 - 76.5958.65
2021August63.0354.86 - 68.7958.75
2021September63.2050.01 - 69.4759.64
2021October68.6152.88 - 77.1468.01
2021November72.4761.70 - 79.0769.88
2021December67.9252.65 - 79.9766.14
2022January76.4861.37 - 99.2972.30
2022February84.1659.09 - 96.5380.09
2022March102.8660.99 - 127.9888.42
2022April101.0467.13 - 120.9178.64
2022May104.5474.01 - 116.9387.43
2022June117.9890.61 - 130.9186.11
2022July113.6297.06 - 133.6183.13
2022August104.8489.32 - 122.1980.57
2022September97.9282.77 - 119.3881.96
2022October98.5477.92 - 107.4573.30
2022November95.2570.54 - 107.4972.98
2022December82.2946.61 - 94.2886.40
1)Price of Russian oil up to 5 December 2022 inclusive

Russian oil may still be imported

Despite the import ban on Russian oil that has been in place since 5 December, it is still possible that Russian oil is being imported. If oil is mixed with oil from other countries, one cannot tell by its composition what the country of origin is.