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Belarus to start oil product exports via Russia in March

Highlights

Exports via Russian ports to total 9.8 million mt in 2021-23

Exports via Lithuania suspended in December over sanctions

Belarus exports residual fuel oil, gasoil, diesel and gasoline

Moscow — Belarus will begin using Russian ports for exports of its oil products next month, with total volumes of 9.8 million mt through 2023, according to an intergovernmental agreement signed Feb. 19.

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Russia and Belarus have been discussing exports via Russia since September, after Lithuania imposed sanctions on Belarus. The measures were introduced in response to allegations that presidential elections were not free and fair, and a subsequent crackdown on protests against the result, which saw Alexander Lukashenko remain in office.

In mid-December, the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda said that Belarusian Oil Company was temporarily suspending oil products exports via the port.

Belarus will use Russian ports on the Baltic Sea, including Ust-Luga and St Petersburg, to export fuel oil, gasoline, diesel and gasoil, according to the intergovernmental deal with Russia.

In 2021, volumes of Belarusian oil products exported via Russia will reach 3.5 million mt, while exports in 2022 and 2023 will total 3.2 million mt and 3.1 million mt.

"The agreement was signed for three years, but in fact it is unlimited, since it provides for automatic prolongation," Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Saveliev said in the ministry's statement.

S&P Global Platts uses Klaipeda as one of the load ports for assessing diesel FOB Le Havre in Northwest Europe.

Platts Analytics expects no significant impact on global or European product balances if the shipments are redirected.

Belarus exports residual fuel oil, gasoil/diesel and gasoline, with monthly volumes averaging around 120,000 b/d, according to Platts Analytics. In January to September 2020, Belarus exported 1.157 million mt, or around 35,174 b/d, of gasoline and 1.834 million mt, or around 49,866 b/d, of diesel, according to the Belarusian state statistics service.

Belarus has in the past also used Klaipeda to receive deliveries of crude from alternative suppliers, including Norway, Saudi Arabia and the US in 2020, when Russia cut deliveries to Belarus over a dispute on supply terms.