European Union energy imports continued their downward trend in the second quarter as members further reduced their reliance on Russian supplies, data from EU statistics agency Eurostat showed on Monday.

After a strong increase between 2021 and 2022, EU imports declined by 39.4% in value and 11.3% in volume in the second quarter of 2023 on a yearly basis.

That followed plunges of 26.5% and 6.1% respectively in the first quarter.

Russia, the top supplier of petroleum oils to the EU with a market share of 15.9% in the second quarter of 2022, saw that share decline to just 2.7% in the second quarter of this year, making it only the twelfth biggest supplier, Eurostat said.

Norway, Kazakhstan, the United States and Saudi Arabia saw their market shares increase over the same period, it added.

The EU has banned seaborne imports of Russian crude oil since December 2022 and set an embargo on refined oil products in February 2023 to wean itself from Russian energy products and to punish the country for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

"EU imports of natural gas dropped significantly (-17% in terms of volume) in the second quarter of 2023, compared with the same period in 2022. This reduction could have been triggered by the EU reduction plan, where EU countries committed to reducing gas consumption," Eurostat said.

Regarding natural gas in a gaseous state, the agency said Russia's share dropped by 14.5 percentage points year-on-year to 13.8% of total EU imports in the second quarter, while Algeria and Norway increased their shares by 9.3 and 6.2 percentage points respectively, with Norway becoming the EU's top supplier.

In the same period, the U.S. remained the EU's main supplier of liquefied natural gas, with a share of 46.4% of total EU imports, followed by Russia (12.4%) and Qatar (10.9%).

(Reporting by Alberto Chiumento; Editing by Mark Potter)