According to Eurostat, the European statistics agency, energy product imports to the European Union experienced a decrease in value and quantity during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
The decline amounted to 9.2% in value and 3% in quantity.
However, it is worth noting that the EU had seen a significant increase in energy imports between 2021 and 2022, with the average monthly value rising by 121% and the quantity by 9%.
These import fluctuations can be attributed to the implementation of multiple rounds of sanctions by the EU against Russia, which had direct and indirect impacts on the trade of oils and natural gas. These sanctions were a response to Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine. Consequently, there has been a noticeable shift in the suppliers of energy products, leading to changes in the market share of various countries.
In particular, the Russia’s share in the extra-EU imports of coal, natural gas and petroleum oils has been steadily declining since the second quarter of 2022.
The EU took decisive actions in relation to petroleum oil, imposing a ban on seaborne imports of Russian crude oil effective from 5 December 2022, followed by an embargo on refined oil products starting 5 February 2023.
The effects of these measures became apparent during the first quarter of 2023.
In the Q1 2022, Russia held the largest share (26.0%) as a provider of petroleum oils. However, in the first quarter of 2023, Russia’s share dropped significantly to a mere 3.2%, representing a decrease of 22.8% compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
Conversely, Norway witnessed an increase of 3.8%, Saudi Arabia saw a rise of 3.4%, and the United States experienced an increase of 2.7% in their market shares during the same period.
A similar trend was observed for natural gas in its gaseous state, as EU countries sought alternative sources of supply.
In the first quarter of 2022, Russia held the largest share (38.8%) as a natural gas supplier to the EU, followed closely by Norway (38.1%).
However, in Q1 2023, Russia’s market share witnessed a significant decline of 21.4%. Meanwhile, Norway’s share increased by 8.0%, Algeria’s by 7.4%, and the United Kingdom’s by 4.0%.
Regarding liquefied natural gas (LNG), Russia held the second-largest supplier position (18.1%) to the EU in the first quarter of 2022, with the US leading the way (48.6%).
However, in the first quarter of 2023, Russia’s share experienced a decrease of 4.9%. Conversely, Norway’s share increased by 6.5% (shown under “others”), while Qatar and Algeria saw increases of 2.4% each. Additionally, the United States’ share declined by 8.4%.
These market shifts in energy imports reflect the impact of geopolitical events, particularly the EU’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. As the EU diversifies its energy supply sources, the market share will continue to adapt to changes in the global energy landscape.