UK fuel import from Russia drops to zero in June

According to government’s official statistics, the UK imported no gasoline from Russia for the first time in history.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), June’s imports of commodities from Russia decreased to £33 million, the lowest level since records began in January 1997.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the West has slapped severe sanctions on the country.

By the end of the year, the UK has promised to phase off its reliance on Russian oil and gas supplies.

Compared to the average for the preceding 12 months to February, fuel imports from Russia decreased by £499 million, or 100%.

According to the International Energy Agency, the UK purchased 11% of its oil as well as 4% of its gas from Russia in 2021.

By June, exports of the majority of commodities to Russia had also sharply declined, with sales of industrial and transport equipment falling by 91.3% to £118 million.

In comparison to the monthly average during the 12 months ending in February, exports to Russia fell overall by about 70%, to £168 million.

Chemical exports, which are exempt from sanctions, increased to be the only product to enjoy a minor gain.

In addition to government-imposed sanctions, the ONS said that firms actively looked for alternatives to Russian products, which reduced commerce between Russia and the UK.

The statistics were made public as Ukraine celebrated its day of independence and precisely six months after the start of the Russian invasion.

The UK has previously gained significant profits from consulting, accounting, and legal services provided to Russian businesses and affluent individuals in London. However, these services are not included in the report.

However, it appears that sanctions have been very successful when it comes to imported commodities.

The ONS reports that in contrast to the average monthly import of nearly half a billion pounds, we bought absolutely no fuel from Russia in June.

Before the war, 4.9% of the UK’s total gas imports came from Russia; today, that percentage is zero.

The UK hasn’t decreased its overall gas imports; instead, gas from other countries has essentially replaced Russian gas.

That demonstrates the discrepancy between the (small) impact of the war on the UK’s wholesale gas supply and the difference in prices we’re paying (huge).

The market’s speculation about possible supply interruptions to Germany, Italy, and other nations dependent on Russian gas accounts for a large portion of the fear incorporated into wholesale gas prices.

The UK must be proactive in protecting its gas supply

The risk is that when the energy price ceiling is adjusted in October, millions of households will end up paying unreasonably high bills that contain a great deal of unfounded worry. This is because the energy price cap is connected to global wholesale gas prices.

Read Also: Russia halts gas supply to Germany and European neighbors 

Due to Russia’s invasion, the EU has pledged to reduce its gas imports from Russia by two-thirds within a year and to stop all maritime imports of Russian oil by the end of the year.

In the meantime, the US completely banned imports of Russian gas and oil.