MOSCOW, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Poland, the top buyer of Russian liquefied petroleum gas, increased its maritime imports of European LPG by 73% last year, replacing rail supplies from Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan by cheaper goods from Scandinavia and the Amsterdam-Rotterdam – Hub of Antwerp, according to merchants and Eikon data.
Polish LPG imports by sea rose to 1.014 million tonnes in 2022 from 585,000 tonnes in 2021, while Russian rail supplies to Poland, which include transit through Belarusian domestic railways, fell by 200,000 tons to 1.4 million tons, according to Reuters calculations.
Russian LPG is not subject to a European Union import ban, unlike oil and other petroleum products, but Polish importers are diversifying supply chains to boost imports of non-Russian LPG.
Maritime imports of LPG to Poland increased sharply in the second half of 2022, with propane prices on a CIF ARA basis being around $100 per tonne lower than prices at the Belarus-Poland border in the city of Brest (DAP Brest) .
The main supplier of LPG to Polish ports in 2022 was Sweden, which accounted for 76.1% of total maritime imports, or some 771,000 tonnes, while Norway and the Netherlands supplied 8.6% and 3, respectively. 5%, according to Eikon data.
The share of Russian maritime LPG supplies to Poland in 2022 fell to 3.1%, from 8.5% in 2021, amid falling Sibur shipments from the port of Ust-Luga.
Gdansk in Poland remains the main hub for maritime LPG imports with a share of 59.8%, or 606,000 tonnes, while Szczecin and Gdynia accounted for 24.7% and 13.3% respectively.
In December, the Polish chemical holding company Azoty Group (ATTP.WA) launched its new LPG transshipment terminal in Police and received its first LPG tanker from the United States.
The installation will allow Poland to import more LPG by sea, mainly from the United States and the ARA region.
Reuters reporting; Editing by Alexander Smith
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