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Morocco supplies Spain with Russian diesel – El Mundo – RT Africa



The North African country has increased its fuel imports, which have been shunned by the West

Morocco is buying Russian diesel and other refined products at discounted prices and re-exporting the fuel to Spain, El Mundo reported on Friday, citing ship-tracking sources.

Data from the Vesselfinder shipping tracking portal showed that on April 28, at least three tankers were heading from Russian Baltic ports to Morocco carrying around 170,000 tonnes of petroleum products on board.

The North African country, which bought around 600,000 barrels of Russian diesel throughout 2021, increased imports of the product to 2 million barrels in January 2023, with an additional 1.2 million barrels arriving in the country in February, according to tracking sources.

Morocco’s fuel exports nearly ceased after its sole processing plant closed in 2015 due to unpaid taxes and legal hurdles, leaving the country dependent on imports of refined oil.

Earlier this year, Rabat resumed fuel supply and expanded diesel exports from its Horizon Tangier terminal to Spain, Turkey, Ghana and southern Africa, the outlet said. In January, the country sent 280,000 barrels of diesel to Spain’s Canary Islands and another 270,000 barrels to Turkey.

“At the end of 2022, Morocco began to buy diesel from Moscow at the rate of more than 7 million liters per day on average. At the same time, Rabat has started to export it to Spain,” wrote the outlet.

According to vessel tracking data, Moroccan deliveries now account for 10% of Spain’s monthly diesel demand, estimated at $60 million. According to some media, in March, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria accounted for 30% of Russian diesel exports.

Meanwhile, the Spanish government has pledged to ensure that no Russian fuel enters the kingdom.

“Our obligation is to investigate what is happening with the fuel [supplies]”, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera told reporters on Friday. “Initially, it comes with documentation confirming its proper origin,” she added.

Russia has diversified its energy supplies in response to Western sanctions after the EU stopped accepting the country’s oil transported by sea. In December, the EU, G7 and allied countries imposed an embargo and a price cap of $60 a barrel on Russian crude. Similar restrictions were introduced in February for exports of petroleum products.

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