May 30, 2023

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Morocco will be an alternative market for Russian diesel hit by EU sanctions

After the European Union imposed sanctions on Russian refined oil exports on February 5, Morocco has become an alternative market for these products. Agence Bloomberg. “Importers include Morocco, Brazil, Tunisia and leading oil exporter Saudi Arabia,” he says.

The kingdom, along with Turkey and other countries, has “intensified purchases of Russian diesel, whose exports hit a record high of around 1.5 million barrels per day in the 19 days since March,” the same source said. “Russian producers are confident they can sell their blocks to foreign buyers. The discounts they offer are substantial and there are new markets for the fuel,” an analyst told Bloomberg.

As a reminder, Wall Street Journal Alternative markets for Russian diesel have already shown interest. “North African countries are snapping up Russian oil products ignored by the West. With Russia cut off from the global market, North African countries have moved forward to become buyers of its diesel and other petroleum products,” US media wrote in late February, three weeks after the entry. European sanctions will come into effect.

The Moroccan government approves a small increase

On the other hand, the Moroccan government wanted to bring another story that was completely different from the claims published by WSJ and Bloomberg. “For the current government or its predecessors, the import share of Russian diesel has always been 9%. In 2020, the import share of Russian diesel was 9%. It will decrease to 5% in 2021 and increase again to reach 9% in 2022,” he said on March 2. Mustafa Baydas, spokesman for the administration, said during a press conference.

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For his part, the Economy and Finance Minister, in response to a written question from USFP Vice President Abdelkader Taher in mid-March, admitted that “the share of Russian diesel rose to 13% in January and February.” Nadia Fetta also denied rumors that the price of Russian diesel would be only Dh1,771 per tonne. “From January 1 to February 27, the price per ton was 9,522 dh, while other imports of the same product from other countries were 10,138 dh per ton, a difference of 6%,” he underlined.

Another opposition party, the People’s Movement, has demanded Energy Transition and Sustainable Development Minister Leila Benali appear before the House of Representatives’ Energy Commission to explain the highly controversial Russian diesel imported by Morocco.

The government has yet to give the green light to Ms Benally’s appearance. On the other hand, “petroleum products marketed in Morocco are subject to quality control at all stages, from import to consumer,” the minister assured in response to a written question from Parliament.