Asian Energy Markets Following the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to strongly impact international energy markets, posing severe challenges for energy importing countries. Much of the commentary and analysis has been focused on the consequences for, and reactions of, European nations and the European Union. Despite the fact that each region has its own specific dynamics, the global nature of energy markets means that the effects of the conflict in Ukraine are felt around the world, and Asia is no exception.
Most countries in Asia are net importers of fossil energy. International prices of crude oil and LNG were already rising in the later months of 2021, but the war in Ukraine accentuated this rise. While Asian buyers have been picking up discounted cargoes of oil and coal, there have been new costs and complications as energy, food, and other supply chain flows are adapting to sanctions.
The immediate impact of these high energy prices and supply chain disruptions is seen in rising costs across many sectors – whose supply chains were barely recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption of grain supplies from Ukraine and Russia has had particularly severe consequences for food prices, posing serious challenges for governments and peoples. Not only could this distract from the need to address climate change, but the growing frequency of extreme weather events may accentuate existing poverty and inequality.
These phenomena provide the context within which this commentary examines the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Asian energy markets, focusing on the direct exposure of Asian countries to Russian energy exports, as well as on the direct and indirect impacts of the short-term price increases.