My word, eh?

China’s crude imports from Russia jumped 55pc compared to a year earlier to around two million barrels per day after Beijing ramped up purchases at a steep discount.

Data from Beijing revealed that China bought $7.5bn (£6.1bn) of Russian energy products, double the amount a year ago.

Chinese oil giants have swooped to get Russian oil on the cheap as the West seeks to wean itself off the Kremlin following the invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is also keen to diversify exports by providing more to Asia after oil embargoes agreed by the US, Europe and UK threatened to deal a huge blow to a key source of revenue for the Kremlin.

While global crude prices have soared well above $100 per barrel, Russian oil has been selling at big discounts of up to 30pc.

Sanctions on fungible products don’t work, eh? Or, at least, don’t lead to no sales, but to discounted ones….a lesson there for all sorts of economics planners. Drugs, tabs, even high tax rates, sure, you can make rules but activity will out in some volume all the same.

39 thoughts on “My word, eh?”

  1. Sanctions on fungible products don’t work, eh? Or, at least, don’t lead to no sales, but to discounted ones

    In other words, not perfect, I agree.

    However, it is reducing Russian income from oil and gas at a time when Russias vast foreign reserves are frozen (and likely will only be unfrozen to pay for Ukrainian post-war reconstruction) and Russian war spending is something like $900 million a day. So every Rouble counts.

    In addition, the structural move away from dependence on Russian oil and gas is a good thing, since it prevents exactly the sort of European appeasement of Russian aggression that we saw from 2014 to date.

    The hard part will be backsliding (especially from the Germans) when the war is eventually over.

  2. Frankly, the democratic procedures and elections in Europe and the forces that come to power look like a front, because almost identical political parties come and go, while deep down things remain the same. The real interests of people and national businesses are being pushed further and further to the periphery. – VV Putin

  3. Russia’s income from oil and gas ( and fertiliser, and wheat etc. etc. ) has increased.

    US organises a coup to get rid of an elected President. Civil war follows, with 1,000s of Donbass civilians killed. That “Russian agression”?

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    If China is buying more of its oil from Russia it must be buying less from its other sources, unless they’re stockpiling, so shouldn’t that drive down the price of Saudi or wherever oil? Or have they cut back production?

  5. The net effect overall is that the same oil just gets shuffled to different people. Some refineries will tweak production etc. It’s a disruption, not a complete change in the market, that is.

  6. “However, it is reducing Russian income from oil and gas at a time when Russias vast foreign reserves are frozen (and likely will only be unfrozen to pay for Ukrainian post-war reconstruction) and Russian war spending is something like $900 million a day. So every Rouble counts.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/13/climate/russia-oil-gas-record-revenue.html

    From the article:Russia earned what is very likely a record 93 billion euros in revenue from exports of oil, gas and coal in the first 100 days of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, according to data analyzed by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, a research organization based in Helsinki, Finland. About two-thirds of those earnings, the equivalent of about $97 billion, came from oil, and most of the remainder from natural gas.

    So $900m/day spending, vs $97bn revenue over 100 days. By my maths that means they are making a profit from the war…….

  7. The solution is not sanctions but frack to produce more gas.
    Long term nuclear power to reduce our need for hydrocarbons
    Also maybe reduce car speeds to increase efficiency. Considering the number of times that accidents cause tailbacks on the M25 – I wonder if a 50 mile limit might increase the average speed.

  8. @David

    I wonder if a 50 mile limit might increase the average speed.

    It might, but possibly at the cost of increasing the number of accidents. ISTR some many years ago, an experimental “blanket” 40mph speed-limit being introduced for bank holidays, the intention being to reduce accidents. Actually it increased them, quite substantially.

  9. Sanctions on fungible products don’t work, eh? Or, at least, don’t lead to no sales, but to discounted ones….a lesson there for all sorts of economics planners. Drugs, tabs . . .

    If an economic lesson suggests that sanctions on narcotics and tobacco leads to discounts, I’d check what the teacher has been smoking.

  10. If you want to harm russia – sign this
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/608745
    @Baron Jackfield
    ” ISTR some many years ago, an experimental “blanket” 40mph speed-limit being introduced for bank holidays, the intention being to reduce accidents. Actually it increased them, quite substantially.”
    That seems counter intutive – but I am not saying it didn’t happen.

  11. Jim – yes, but we’ve successfully annoyed Putin, and when Western Europe shivers with rationing and shortages this winter, President Zelensky will send us a really nice thank you message via Zoom if he hasn’t already buggered off to marry Ben Stiller by then.

    Short/medium term the only alternative to Russian fuels is poverty, inflation and deindustrialisation. We already saw UK and EU factories closing in late 2021 due to high energy prices and supply chain carnage, the situation is a lot worse now and for the foreseeable.

    European energy infrastructure is built on cheap and reliable Russian fuels, and while hydrocarbons are commodities there are important chemical differences between crudes. The technical and logistical challenges of switching suppliers are not insignificant, neither is the cost, and neither is there spare capacity in production to replace Russian energy anytime soon.

    According to Bloomberg:

    Europe’s resolve to stop buying Russian crude may be starting to ebb.

    The continent’s oil refineries took 1.84 million barrels a day of crude from Russia last week, according to tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. That was the the third consecutive weekly increase and took flows from Russia to Europe, including Turkey, to their highest in almost two months.

    When the EU’s ingenious plan to cut Europe off from Russian tanker oil (but not piped oil) comes into effect in December, it won’t be able to make up the difference in supply. There’ll just be another large price shock and another spiral of business failures and unemployment. This looks like bankrupting Western Europe a lot quicker than it’ll bankrupt the perfidious Rus. We may see regime change yet, but probably not in Moscow.

  12. So $900m/day spending, vs $97bn revenue over 100 days. By my maths that means they are making a profit from the war…….

    Not really, they’d have had a lot more revenue from energy sales if not for the war / financial sanctions, plus no war spending.

  13. David: not really. At 40mph people drive much closer to the car in front and in high traffic conditions one shunt may promote multiple shunts further back. In theory the variable speed limits should smooth things, but my experience is they don’t much, especially when the offered traffic rate is higher than the max available rate at reduced speed. Simple queueing theory. The M25 is in this state at several points every day.

  14. I read earlier that the Green environment minister in Austria is allowing the reopening of coal fired power stations. Oh my sides !

    Speed limits. Lowering speed limits seems to make congestions worse, certainly where the M25 is concerned. I watched with interest an experiment in Belgium a few years back. In order to reduce emissions the authroties enforced a 90kph limit on the motorways around Brussels. What happened, predictably, was that emissions went up, because cars were all now travelling at the same speed and bunching up all through the day, rather than just at rush hours.

  15. Short/medium term the only alternative to Russian fuels is poverty, inflation and deindustrialisation.

    There’re lots of alternatives, it’s just that the world isn’t allowed them. The real problem is President Biden’s Handlers. If Trump came in now he’d have worldwide energy prices down in months and the Russians squeezed.

  16. PJF – Yarp.

    Nota Benny, Germany is *still* decommissioning its last atomic plants. Truly Suggsian.

    Trump was keen to get them to buy Yank LNG, but LNG isn’t a workable solution, too dear. Fracking, nuclear and maybe clean coal (if we believe in gorbal worming, just sequester the emissions ffs) are workable solutions, but the EU isn’t run by serious people.

    Conspiracy fans are wondering if one of the real goals here is to cut Europe off from China’s strategic Belt and Road initiative: the belt goes through Russia. Makes sense in the context of the new “global NATO” Liz Truss is trying to get Asian countries excited about – a kind of Globalisation 2.0 that splits the world into two major mercantile blocs. The next phase of the crisis could be Taiwan.

  17. PJF, there’s a duty on fags. Consider it a form of sanction.

    Posties used to be a good source of baccy and fags, from forrin.

    Guess what? They’re cheaper.

  18. Steve
    On the eve of Villiers Bretanu A worried French woman said to Monash, ‘ you do not leave? Monash replied australie will not quit, until it is , quit.
    On the the 8th of August at Amiens in less than three hours Monash delivered :“ astonished the continent”

    Steve,Ukraine seems to me to be of my kind, And god help your mob

    BTW Conrad was pretty spot on re your mob:

    “That propensity of lifting every problem from the plane of the understandable by means of some sort of mystic expression, is very Russian. I knew her well enough to have discovered her scorn for all the practical forms of political liberty known to the western world. I suppose one must be a Russian to understand Russian simplicity, a terrible corroding simplicity in which mystic phrases clothe a naive and hopeless cynicism. I think sometimes that the psychological secret of the profound difference of that people consists in this, that they detest life, the irremediable life of the earth as it is, whereas we westerners cherish it with perhaps an equal exaggeration of its sentimental value.”

  19. John – My mob are the ones facing self-inflicted economic ruin to pwn the Russians, but yarp. A farcical reenactment of WW1 is what I’m worried about. I’m going to be controversial and say WW1 was bad. The current 1914 retro craze is bad.

    I knew her well enough to have discovered her scorn for all the practical forms of political liberty known to the western world.

    Try telling a joke about trannies on t’internet, or maybe hire a plane to tow a message claiming “White Lives Matter Too”, or make too much of a fuss about grooming gangs, and see how much Western liberty you have. Or even just take a look at your payslip and see how much they’ve nicked from you this month.

    Obviously Russia tends towards despotism, but otoh, who cares? That’s Russia’s problem. We are good allies with much worse regimes. We don’t need more enemies.

  20. We have to have enemies,Steve, that’s how the entire system works.
    Whether it is Iran or China or Russia or Climate Change or Covid there has to be someone or something to keep the population in a state of fear.

    Whereas the real things to fear eg Third World immigration, grooming and rape gangs or gender critical studies in primary schools are carefully removed from public discourse.

  21. “I wonder if a 50 mile limit might increase the average speed.”

    Whatever it would do for speen, it would *increase* fuel usage.

    My latest car has a fancy dohicky that displays the fuel consumption. Of course I’ve experimented with it to see how it correlates with my driving. Doing a careful 10-minute fixed-speed run to iron out fluctuations, I’ve found that 50mph gives me 40mpg, 60mph gives me 50mpg and 70mph gives me 48mpg. So, reducing the speed I am allowed to travel at will increase my fuel consumption.

  22. jgh – 2.5 litre diesel, the D5, in a Volvo V70 from 2005 – could easily get to 46/47 MPG on the motorway, and then keep it above 44 (10 miles a litre) just pootling around, when it was 15 years old.

    1 litre petrol in a Ford from 2016 – I can not get the thing to 40mpg, let alone keep it above 38 consistently.

  23. Jgh and Ducky

    I had a Chrysler made in Mexico after much experimenting I discovered that it was tuned to run at 60mph, like the US speed limits.

    My newish Fiat (petrol) seems to be stuck at 38mpg.however I drive.

  24. Most of the cars I’ve ever had seemed to have the sweet spot somewhere around 50-55 mph, call it 52. The D5 seemed happiest at something like 82. Odd.

  25. People like John wittering on semi-intelligibly about Monash and Steve’s ‘mob’ either don’t understand what we are doing to ourselves, or don’t care. Stupid or evil? Which is it, John?

  26. “Not really, they’d have had a lot more revenue from energy sales if not for the war / financial sanctions, plus no war spending”

    Thats as maybe, I’m just considering the fact that Russia is managing to run a full on hot war while living within its means, while we are doing SFA and are still living on printed and borrowed money……………

  27. Well Otto, I really envy the Austrians. Their Greens are so much more sensible than ours here in Oz.

    As for the energy problems, I’d naturally immediately cancel sanctions, regulations, scrapping of nukes, start up all coal plants etc. In the short term, fracking. In the medium term, more nukes – built with trimmed down regs – more coal burners and, if you’ve fracked the gas, gas burners as well. As Steve points out, if CO2 worries you, you can always dump it underground. Of course, the problem with this is it’s a pure cost. The fuel burners’d rather dump it in the air and let the plants eat it and the ocean absorb it. The Green ratbags’d rather steal ALL the taxes allocated to do it instead of wasting them fracking basalt or olivine or whatever.

    As for the depravities of foreigners, here I agree with Steve again. How they misbehave is their business. We just shouldn’t let them come to our countries and deprave us. We prefer to do it our way!!!

  28. Informative article and facts some won’t like

    Mystery of Ukraine’s disappearing Nazis
    .
    The West inadvertently created an Afghanistan on Europe’s doorstep

    .
    Cast your minds back to the build-up to the Euro football championship in 2012, co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland. There was only one story in the mainstream media then: both countries were hotbeds of Nazism and anti-Semitism, said the BBC’s investigative documentary Stadiums of Hate, andneither of them should have been allowed to host the tournament
    .
    Fans were warned by ex-England footballer Sol Campbell to stay at home or ‘you could end up coming back in a coffin’
    .
    The story gathered momentum among other Western media, provoking last-ditch efforts by footballing nations to have the tournament moved. There was ‘the creep of extremism reminiscent of the 1930s’, declared Paul Hayward of the Daily Telegraph…
    .
    …Ukraine was afforded no such latitude. Spearheading this assault was the BBC. A 2014 film on the Maidan Uprising noted that Ukraine represented an increasing ‘neo-Nazi threat’ given, what it claimed, the leading role played by fascist groups such as the Azov Battalion in the riots on Maidan Square which overthrew the pro-Moscow Yanukovych government and replaced it with a West-leaning alternative
    .
    A follow-up a year later sought to confirm this claim, exposing the growing ranks of paramilitaries brandishing Nazi banners and insignia blithely parading through city centres to the chants of Sláva Ukrayíni (Glory to Ukraine) made notorious by Ukraine’s war-time Nazi collaborators
    .
    So pernicious were these groups that in 2018 the BBC raised the alarm again, tracking the ‘toxic racism’ and violence of the Azov Battalion and other groups with ‘Nazi overtones’ as they threatened businesses with Russian connections and intimidated elected deputies who refused do their bidding. ‘None of this could happen’, noted Oleksander Radutskyi, a deputy from Cherkasy, ‘without government approval’ in what reminded him of 1930s Germany…
    .
    [Then in Feb 2022 the Nazis, as if by magic, vanished]

    Rather destroys current narrative, although C4 News has occasionally & reluctantly admited the “far-right” / Nazi Azov etc

    Ukraine Good, Russia Bad?


    Ukraine Targets Same Civilian Area Twice After It was Published It Was Only A Civilian Area

    .
    Yesterday During a day of Intense shelling, we published a video showing an area in the Kuibyshevsky district of Donetsk where civilians died. Actually one of the most intense shelling of the city of Donetsk in the last 8 years of this war. 7 hours later Ukraine shelled that exact location killing more civilians
    .
    Ukraine claims to use social media and journalistic reports to target military equipment how did they not know that civilians were killed in the attack on the area near the “Milk” Store yesterday morning and that it was just a civilian area?
    .
    If they did know then that means it was a war crime as 7 hours after I published the video of that location being an only civilian area Ukraine shelled that “Milk” Store and farmers market killing more civilians. As allway this report has full translations
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n82hgiQN97o

  29. I didn’t think it would take you long to return to shrieking about Nazis, Pcar. You must earnestly wait for a comments thread to have some connection to Ukraine so you can file the latest agitprop. And a bonus Donbas shelling to boot.

  30. @PJF

    Ahem, it’s not me shrieking about Nazis. Not liking published facts even BBC admit doesn’t make them go away.

    Once again you revert to form with ad-hom attack

    Are you saying article and all sources are wrong?

  31. Ahem, it’s not me shrieking about Nazis.

    Yes it is. There was absolutely no reason to introduce that to the thread; you just wanted to.

  32. People have posted O/T here many times. I’ve done it, with an apology, because it was something of interest to me and could possibly be of interest to the visitors to this site. It is just not practical to hang around with some information until the ‘correct’ thread happens to turn up.

  33. Of course, Addolff. But Pcar’s O/T isn’t about lunar exploration, 15th Century religious texts or what he found when clearing out his shed.

    It’s about Nazis.

    There is no reason this narrow obsession should not have the piss ripped out of it.

  34. Subject
    Chinese oil giants have swooped to get Russian oil on the cheap as the West seeks to wean itself off the Kremlin following the invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is also keen to diversify exports by providing more to Asia after oil embargoes agreed by the US, Europe and UK threatened to deal a huge blow to a key source of revenue for the Kremlin

    Post not O/T as related to lies about Ukraine to justify sanctions

    Live in a fantasy world if wanted, but stop throwing a strop everytime reality bites back. If not agreed with provide proof to invalidate or suck it up

    Mainstream media consistency
    https://twitter.com/TheFreds/status/1540055549928169474

    Ingraham: Where America needs to cut her losses
    Shame Biden, Johnson, Trudeau etc won’t defend Freedom & Democracy at home
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4P8hp8mG9s

  35. If not agreed with provide proof to invalidate or suck it up

    Pcar, you seem to be operating under the delusion that you are a worthy or interesting debate partner for whom normal courtesies apply. You merely have some mock-worthy entertainment value as a regurgitator of agitprop from the Russian / idiot-right alliance. It’s not like I want you to stop making a fool of yourself going on about Nazis. You’ll just have to put up with the derision.

  36. @PJF

    Another case of lost mirror. Ad-hom attack continues as nothing to dispute the Facts in articles provided.

    If the articles are wrong, attack them with appropiate counter facts

    As for “Russian / idiot-right alliance” accustion: that is mind blowing. The “Russian / idiot-right alliance” want to remove Ukraine’s ‘Nazi right alliance’?

    An admission that Nazis are actually Left Wing as in Nationalist Socialist Party. Many thanks, we will remember

    Before Feb 2022
    https://twitter.com/leeleo21/status/1540056960455901185

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