Russia’s success in finding new markets for its oil has unsettled tanker spot markets, with VLCC volumes hit by the trade reshuffle, says Braemar.

The Baltic Exchange’s dirty tanker index has fallen to its lowest level since June last year, in part because of depressed global demand and broader structural changes linked to the Russian sanctions regime, the shipbroker said.

Moscow, with discounted barrels, has won market share from the Middle East and predominantly uses its own suezmax and aframax fleet to haul oil to Asia, where 80% of its 2m barrels per day (bpd) of Urals crude is now exported.