Belarus will raise duties on oil and oil products exported outside the Eurasian Economic Union’s customs territory on May 1. The sizes of the duties were confirmed by Government Resolution No. 262 of April 25, which has been published on the National Legal Internet Portal. Under the document, the duty on crude oil will grow from $97.40 to $104.60 per tonne, that on straight-run gasoline will rise from $53.50 to $57.50 per tonne, and that on commercial gasoline will grow from $29.20 to $31.30 per tonne.
The duty on light and medium distillates will rise from $29.20 to $31.30 per tonne. The same rate will apply to diesel, benzene, toluene, xylol, and lubricants and other oils.
Belarus last raised export duties on oil and oil products on April 1. Belarus has been aligning its export duties on oil and oil products with Russia’s since 2010 in light of its duty-free imports of oil from Russia. In accordance with EAEU agreements, all export duties on oil and oil products have remained in the Belarusian budget since 2015.
Ukrainian and Belarusian diplomats have agreed to facilitate preparations for the second Forum of Regions to be held in Zhytomyr in October 2019. Such an agreement was reached during political consultations between Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Andrei Yeudachenka, the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
In addition, an agreement was reached on preparing for signing the plan of consultations between the foreign ministries of Ukraine and Belarus for 2020-2021.
As reported, the first Forum of Regions of Ukraine and Belarus was held in Gomel on October 26, 2018. It was attended by the presidents of the countries, Petro Poroshenko and Alexander Lukashenko. They decided to hold the second forum in Zhytomyr.
Belarus is considering the possibility of building a river port on the Dnipro River in Gomel region near the border with Ukraine in order to use river-sea vessels to put out to the Black Sea. The Turkish investor Derin Shipping & Trading Co. might be involved in the project.
According to the state agency BelTA, Ambassador of Belarus to Turkey Andrei Savinykh states that the implementation of the project “will turn Belarus into a maritime state.” The project could be implemented by building a port terminal in the village of Nizhniye Zhary (Gomel region).
“Our Turkish partners are considering the possibility of building a port in Nizhniye Zhary, which will turn Belarus into a maritime state,” the official told journalists in Gomel during the visit of the Turkish delegation to the regional center.
It is assumed that the main volume of cargo turnover will be provided by oil products (Mozyr Oil Refinery is located near Gomel) and Petrikovsky GOK being under construction in Gomel region (the project of Belaruskali, the capacity is about 2 million tonnes of potassium chloride per year).
Belarus and Ukraine may increase mutual commodity turnover to $5 billion in 2018, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lyashenko said. “Positive dynamics of trade and economic relations between our countries was observed in the past few years. We have managed to stop the fall that was in 2013 and resume growth,” Lyashenko said at a plenary session of the first forum of Belarusian and Ukrainian regions in Gomel on Friday.
The amount of bilateral trade reached $4.6 billion in 2017 and went up 20% against 2016, he said.
“We project commodity turnover at $5 billion this year [an 8.7% increase from 2017],” Lyashenko said.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have decided to bring mutual commodity turnover to at least $8 billion in 2019.
Not only the governments of the two countries, but also the regions need to contribute to achieving this goal, Lyashenko said.
Ukraine in the first half of 2018 exported fruit and berries worth $100 million, which is 59% more than in the same period of 2017. According to the Ukrsadprom association, the main products in the structure of exports remain walnuts worth $64 million, frozen berries for $23 million, apples and pears for $8 million. “Compared with last year, the volume of walnut exports increased from 12,000 to 19,000 tonnes, apples and pears from 6,000 to 24,000 tonnes, while the deliveries of frozen berries decreased slightly from 17,000 to 14,000 tonnes,” the report says.
The main buyers of Ukrainian gardening products, according to the association, are the countries of the European Union, which account for more than 60% of the value of exports.
“In the six months, the largest fruit supplies in monetary terms from Ukraine were made to Poland for $11.2 million, France for $9.9 million, Turkey for $9.3 million, Belarus for $8 million, Germany for $5.1 million, Greece for $5 million and the Netherlands for $4.7 million,” the report says.
As noted, Ukrainian apples are mostly delivered to Belarus (46% of the value of supplies), Moldova (21%), and Sweden (10%).
Romania’s Tacrom and Belorusneft will conduct hydraulic fracturing at 80 wells of public joint-stock company Ukrgazvydobuvannia for UAH 486.5 million, according to the ProZorro e-procurement system. Tacrom, in particular, won a lot during a tender and conduct hydraulic fracturing at 50 wells of Ukrgazvydobuvannia for UAH 303.8 million. Belorusneft wins another lot and will conduct hydraulic fracturing at 30 well for UAH 182.725 million.
Tacrom and Belorusneft were the only rivals during the tender.
Ukrgazvydobuvannia, which is wholly owned by NSJC Naftogaz Ukrainy, is a large gas processing company, which accounts for about 75% of total gas output in the country. It operates Shebelynka gas refinery.