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Who’s Still Buying Russian Fossil Fuels in 2023?

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Bar chart of countries with the highest fossil fuel imports from Russia in 2023

The Countries Buying Fossil Fuels from Russia in 2023

While Russia’s revenues from fossil fuel exports have declined significantly since their peak in March of 2022, many countries are still importing millions of dollars a day worth of fossil fuels from Russia.

Revenue from fossil fuels exported to the EU has declined more than 90% from their peak, but in 2023 the bloc has still imported more than $18 billion of crude oil and natural gas so far.

This graphic uses data from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) to visualize the top-importing countries of fossil fuels from Russia so far this year.

China Remains Russia’s Top Fossil Fuel Importer

China continues to be Russia’s top buyer of fossil fuels, with imports reaching $30 billion in 2023 up until June 16, 2023.

With nearly 80% of China’s fuel imports being crude oil, Russia’s average daily revenues from Chinese fossil fuel imports have declined from $210 million in 2022 to $178 million in 2023 largely due to the falling price of Russian crude oil.

Following China are EU nations collectively, which despite no longer importing coal from Russia since August of 2022, still imported $18.4 billion of fossil fuels in a 60/40 split of crude oil and natural gas respectively.

CountryRussian Fossil Fuel Imports* (Total)Crude OilNatural GasCoal
🇨🇳 China$30.0B$23.9B$2.7B$3.3B
🇪🇺 EU$18.4B$11.2B$7.2B$0
🇮🇳 India$15.2B$12.8B$0$2.5B
🇹🇷 Türkiye$12.1B$7.3B$3B$1.7B
🇦🇪 UAE$2.3B$2.3B$0$0
🇰🇷 South Korea$2.1B$0.6B$0.3B$1.2B
🇸🇰 Slovakia$2.0B$1.1B$0.9B$0
🇭🇺 Hungary$1.9B$0.8B$1.1B$0
🇧🇪 Belgium$1.9B$0.5B$1.4B$0
🇯🇵 Japan$1.8B$0$1.5B$0.3B
🇪🇸 Spain$1.7B$0.6B$1.1B$0
🇸🇬 Singapore$1.7B$1.7B$0$0
🇧🇷 Brazil$1.6B$1.4B$0$0.2B
🇳🇱 Netherlands$1.6B$1.5B$0.1B$0
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia$1.5B$1.4B$0$0
🇪🇬 Egypt$1.4B$1.3B$0$0.2B
🇧🇬 Bulgaria$1.3B$1.1B$0.3B$0
🇮🇹 Italy$1.2B$0.8B$0.4B$0
🇲🇾 Malaysia$1.1B$1.0B$0$0.1B
🇨🇿 Czech Republic$1.0B$1.1B$0$0

*Over the time period of Jan 1, 2023 to June 16, 2023 in U.S. dollars

After China and the EU bloc, India is the next-largest importer of Russian fossil fuels, having ramped up the amount of fossil fuels imported by more than 10x since before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, largely due to discounted Russian oil.

Türkiye is the only other nation to have imported more than $10 billion worth of Russian fossil fuels in 2023, with every other country having imported fewer than $3 billion worth of fuels from Russia this year.

Navigating the Crude Reality of Oil Exports

Although crude oil is Russia’s chief fossil fuel export, the nation’s Urals crude traded at a $20 per barrel discount to Brent crude throughout most of 2023. While this discount has narrowed to around $16 following Russia’s announcement of further oil export cuts of 500,000 bpd (barrels per day), the price of Urals crude oil remains just 40 cents below the $60 price cap put in place by G7 and EU nations.

Alongside Russia, Saudi Arabia also announced it would extend its cut of 1 million bpd until the end of August, with Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman commenting on the country’s solidarity with Russia and saying it would do “whatever is necessary” to support the oil market.

While OPEC and OPEC+ nations’ cuts are an attempt at pushing crude oil prices up, increased production from the U.S. has counteracted this. The EIA forecasts 2023 U.S. production to be 12.6 million bpd, surpassing the high in 2019 of 12.3 million bpd.

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Energy Shift

Ranked: The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

Three countries account for almost 90% of the lithium produced in the world.

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Voronoi graphic showing the top lithium producers in 2023.

The World’s Largest Lithium Producers in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Three countries—Australia, Chile, and China—accounted for 88% of lithium production in 2023.

In this graphic, we list the world’s leading countries in terms of lithium production. These figures come from the latest USGS publication on lithium statistics (published Jan 2024).

Australia Leads, China Approaches Chile

Australia, the world’s leading producer, extracts lithium directly from hard-rock mines, specifically the mineral spodumene.

The country saw a big jump in output over the last decade. In 2013, Australia produced 13,000 metric tons of lithium, compared to 86,000 metric tons in 2023.

CountryLithium production 2023E (metric tons)
🇦🇺 Australia86,000
🇨🇱 Chile44,000
🇨🇳 China33,000
🇦🇷 Argentina9,600
🇧🇷 Brazil4,900
🇨🇦 Canada3,400
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe3,400
🇵🇹 Portugal380
🌍 World Total184,680

Chile is second in rank but with more modest growth. Chilean production rose from 13,500 metric tons in 2013 to 44,000 metric tons in 2023. Contrary to Australia, the South American country extracts lithium from brine.

China, which also produces lithium from brine, has been approaching Chile over the years. The country increased its domestic production from 4,000 metric tons in 2013 to 33,000 last year.

Chinese companies have also increased their ownership shares in lithium producers around the globe; three Chinese companies are also among the top lithium mining companies. The biggest, Tianqi Lithium, has a significant stake in Greenbushes, the world’s biggest hard-rock lithium mine in Australia.

Argentina, the fourth country on our list, more than tripled its production over the last decade and has received investments from other countries to increase its output.

With all the top producers increasing output to cover the demand from the clean energy industry, especially for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the lithium market has seen a surplus recently, which caused prices to collapse by more than 80% from a late-2022 record high.

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Visualizing Copper Production by Country in 2023

Chile and Peru account for one-third of the world’s copper output.

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Voronoi graphic illustrating global copper production in 2023.

Visualizing Copper Production by Country in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Copper is considered an essential metal for the clean energy transition because it is a great conductor of electricity.

As a result, governments around the world have been encouraging the construction of new mines, and mining companies have been seeking new projects and acquiring existing mines to meet the growing demand.

In this graphic, we illustrate global copper production in 2023, based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, as of January 2024.

Most Copper Comes from South America

Chile and Peru account for one-third of the world’s copper output.

CountryRegion2023E Production
(Million tonnes)
🇨🇱 ChileSouth America5.0
🇵🇪 PeruSouth America2.6
🇨🇩 Congo (Kinshasa)Africa2.5
🇨🇳 ChinaAsia1.7
🇺🇸 United StatesNorth America1.1
🇷🇺 RussiaEurope/Asia0.9
🇦🇺 AustraliaOceania0.8
🇮🇩 IndonesiaAsia0.8
🇿🇲 ZambiaAfrica0.8
🇲🇽 MexicoNorth America0.7
🇰🇿 KazakhstanAsia0.6
🇨🇦 CanadaNorth America0.5
🇵🇱 PolandEurope0.4
🌍 Rest of World--3.1
World total (rounded)--21.5

Chile is also home to the two largest mines in the world, Escondida and Collahuasi.

Meanwhile, African countries have rapidly increased their production. The Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, transitioned from being a secondary copper producer in the late 1990s to becoming the third-largest producer by 2023.

Part of the growth in copper mining in Africa is attributed to high investment from China. Chinese mining companies represent 8% of Africa’s total output in the mining sector.

Within its territory, China has also seen a 277% growth in copper production over the last three decades.

In the U.S., Arizona is the leading copper-producing state, accounting for approximately 70% of domestic output. Copper is also mined in Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.

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