HomeEconomyExpert points out inconsistency in advanced data

Expert points out inconsistency in advanced data

The data relayed by the American economic and financial daily “Wall Street Journal” concerning Moroccan imports of Russian diesel have caused controversy in Morocco. However, the figures and prices put forward by certain media and parliamentarians on this basis seem to be completely false.

Russia being banned from the European market, turned to new markets. North African countries have become voracious buyers of its diesel and other refined petroleum products, reads the article published in The Wall Street Journal. According to data provided by Kepler and quoted by the American newspaper, Moroccan imports of Russian diesel would have reached 2 million barrels in January 2023 alone and increased following ” receipt of at least an additional 1.2 million barrels in February“.

In addition, some Moroccan parliamentarians indicated, in a written question addressed to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, that certain companies which import liquid petroleum materials to meet the needs of the national market, deliberately introduce Russian diesel, whose price does not exceed 170 dollars per ton and less than 70% of the international price, to resell it on the national market at the same high price imposed on an international scale, and this by falsifying the certificates and documents relating to the source of the imports.

Mostafa Labrak, Managing Director of Energysium Consulting, said that the Russian diesel prices put forward by some parliamentarians and other press media in recent days, namely 170 USD/tonne, are totally wrong.

The expert explains to MoroccoLatestNews EN that ” current diesel prices on the international market are trading around 820 USD/tonne and when it is offered from Russia, discounts can go up to 30-40 dollars/tonne, i.e. an average price of 780 USD /tonne“.

Indeed, freight from Russia is extremely expensive given that shipowners refuse to travel to load in war zones, he said, noting that insurers have also increased their rates in view of the increased risks in this area of ​​armed conflict.

The US Treasury Department has published a circular for the G7 countries and the European Union, which sets a threshold for purchases of crude products at 60 dollars per barrel and a threshold for purchases of refined products around 750 USD/tonne when the products are of Russian origin, reminds Labrak.

Imports from Russia are not prohibited, but the United States has set this threshold and remains interested in ensuring that volumes continue to be sold from Russia to avoid a very sharp increase in prices on the international market by a shortage of offers caused by these sanctions against Moscow“, clarifies the expert.

In this regard, he highlights the position of neutrality that Morocco has adopted in this war between Russia and Ukraine. In other words, he argues, “the Kingdom does not impose any embargo and makes use of its neutrality”.

On the other hand, ” Moroccan banks, which have mainly European correspondents, have great difficulty opening letters of credit or paying for supplies from Russia, given the restrictions imposed by European banks“, he remarks.

On the same subject, government spokesman Mustapha Baitas said Russian diesel import rates have fluctuated over the past three years.

In 2022, he said during the press briefing following the Government Council on Thursday, imports represented 9% of the overall volume of imported diesel, compared to 5% in 2021 and 9% in 2021.

The government was keen to maintain the import of Russian coal, recalled Baitas, noting that this import had helped to control the electricity production bill.

He confirmed in this regard that the average price of diesel in Morocco is currently subject to the law of supply and demand, the market being free, which led to a certain convergence of prices.



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