Russian exporters will begin transporting liquefied petroleum gas to Bulgaria. They will be using the Black Sea port of Poti. Georgia has become crucial for the Russian exports of gasoline due to the continued closure of conventional export routes because of Russia’s full-on assault on Ukrainian territories.
Russia launched troops into Ukraine on February 24. Since then the gasoline rail transit to Romania, Hungary, and Moldova via Ukraine has been halted. Georgia seems to be an alternative route for the exporters.
It doesn’t help that Finland, a significant export market for Russian oil products has joined the sanctions against Russia and has drastically reduced purchases of their oil. Roughly 25 percent of Russia’s oil exports to Finland and Ukraine were made last year. No, understandably the statistics don’t look as good as they used to anymore.
In July roughly 3,000 tons of oil products are set to transport by train to Poti and then by sea ferry to Varna in Bulgaria. Data from dealers indicates that Bulgaria consumes between 30,000 and 35,000 tons of Russian oil products per month. It generates 10,000 tons a month on its own and imports the remaining quantities from other neighboring states.
According to statistics, in May limited export opportunities caused a drop in Russian exports from 370,000 tons to around 250,000 tons per month early this year. If we believe the traders’ estimates, the shipments from Poti to Bulgaria cost roughly 50% more than supplies to the EU through Ukraine. The rail route from Surgut to Poti costs about $260–280 per ton, while the ferry service between Poti and Varna costs $130–150 per ton. However, due to a drop in liquefied petroleum gas prices in Russia, traders indicated that supplies delivered via the route are still looking profitable compared to domestic sales.
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