China and India remained the top destinations for Russian seaborne fuel oil and vacuum gasoil (VGO) exports in February, with both countries continuing to buy the fuels to partially replace crude oil, traders said and LSEG data showed.

Since the European Union's full embargo on Russian oil products went into effect in February 2023, the bulk of Russia's fuel oil and VGO was redirected to other regions, mostly Asia.

In February 2024, direct fuel oil and VGO shipments from Russian ports to India increased to 0.7 million metric tons after 0.46 million tons in January, according to LSEG data and Reuters calculations.

February fuel supplies from the Russian ports to China totalled 0.7 million tons, to Singapore - 0.63 million tons, to Malaysia - about 120,000 tons.

India and China buy straight-run fuel oil and VGO for refining, partially replacing more expensive Urals barrels, traders said.

Still, a huge part of Russian fuel oil and VGO went in February for ship-to-ship (STS) loadings near the Greek port of Kalamata - nearly 0.7 million tons. Traders said those cargoes mostly end up in Asia.

Export shipments of dirty oil products from the Russian ports to Turkey fell in February to about 215,000 tons from 340,000 tons in the previous month.

Russia has also significantly increased its fuel exports to Senegal this year on rising bunker demand, as more companies are diverting cargoes around Africa instead of using Red Sea routes, traders said and LSEG data showed.

In February, fuel oil shipments from the Russian port to Senegal totalled 187,300 tons.

In total, Russian fuel oil and VGO seaborne exports increased in February by 9% month-on-month to 3.76 million tons, according to LSEG data. (Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Miral Fahmy)