Two 100,000t diesel cargoes departed from the Russian Baltic Sea port of Primorsk in February, helping to lift diesel exports from there to new highs at the beginning of this year.

The long-range (LR2) tanker Viktor Bakaev departed twice in February from the key diesel-exporting terminal of Primorsk and headed to the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region, according to Vortexa data.

The vessel delivered around 100,000t of ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD) to Antwerp in mid-February and again in early March, repeating the same journey it made just once in January.

As the vessel travels back to Primorsk, it can be expected to make a similar voyage this month.

Primorsk diesel flows at new highs

The last time that two LR2-sized shipments left from Primorsk in one month was in August last year. Regular shipments on LR2-type tankers from the port only begun in May 2017, amid wider infrastructural upgrades that have helped it gradually expand its diesel throughput.

The larger-sized shipments contributed to the increase in ULSD loadings from Primorsk in past months, with average exports in January-February observed at around 360,000 b/d—likely at record levels, and broadly in line with scheduled loadings.

Higher Primorsk diesel flows have helped to keep northwest Europe well supplied at the beginning of this year, potentially offsetting the impact from Mideast Gulf refinery maintenance in the first quarter and lower US Gulf coast exports to Europe during the period.