Israel’s crude traders were quick to respond to the collapse in oil prices from March 2020 as Covid-19 decimated global oil demand just as Saudi Arabia and other producers flooded the market. Israel’s crude imports soared to a monthly record 430,000 b/d for April 2020, figures from data intelligence firm Kpler show, whilst Q2 2020’s 325,000 b/d was the highest quarterly figure on record. The record April 2020 volumes overwhelmingly focused on Russia, from where Israel took 236,000 b/d; imports from Russia were 138,000 b/d for 2Q 2020 as a whole.

The other key supplier to see volumes leap in Q2 was Iraqi Kurdistan, from where Israel took 42,700 b/d. The KRG had been Israel’s top supplier for 2015-17, but volumes fell below 30,000 b/d for the second half of 2019 and lower still in Q1 2020 (see charts 1 & 2). (CONTINUED - 1305 WORDS)