Updated at 14:29,29-07-2020

Belarus temporarily suspends exports of petroleum products

Euroradio

Belarus temporarily suspends exports of petroleum products
Reuters
Belarus has temporarily halted the exports of petrochemical products, reports TASS quoting Belarusian state petrochemical monopoly Belnaftakhim.

The oil exports are suspended in light of the disrupted crude oil supplies from Russia. The disruption that began on 1 January has forced Belarusian refineries to operate at minimum capacities, using the oil stored in December 2019.

Belarus failed to sign a new contract for oil supplies from Russia in 2020. On the last day of 2019, Belarus President Lukashenka tried find a last-minute solution making calls to the Russian president, prime minister and even energy minister. The state media reports suggested that Lukashenka had agreed with Russian Primier Dmitry Medvedev about oil supplies without a contract. However, the first days of the new year have showed that no contracts are in place.



The transit of Russian crude oil to the Western countries continues without interruption.

On 31 December, President Lukashenka ordered the government to find alternative channels for oil supplies but a quick solution seems to be hard to find.

The export of petrochemical products is key for Belarusian economy. Every year, refineries receive billions of US dollars in revenues from the sales of oil products abroad. Ukraine stands out as the largest buyer, having imported 2.7 million tons of petrochemical products worth $1.6 billion in January-October 2019 from Belarus. In the same period, Belarus also sold 5.8 million tons of petrochemical products worth $2.6 billion to the European Union.