Ukraine in January-August 2020 increased imports of natural gas by 30% (by 2.9 billion cubic meters) compared to the same period in 2019, to 12.5 billion cubic meters.
According to Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU), some 8 billion cubic meters were received from Slovakia for the eight months (more by 35% compared to January-August 2019), Hungary delivered 3.2 billion cubic meters (20% more), Poland some 1.3 billion cubic meters (34% more). At the same time, 2.3 billion cubic meters, 1.6 billion cubic meters and 800 million cubic meters of gas were imported from Hungary, Slovakia and Poland respectively through backhaul, which became available from the beginning of 2020.
According to GTSOU, 8.2 billion cubic meters of imported volumes since the beginning of the year were sent to UGS facilities for storage in the “customs warehouse” mode, of which 4.9 billion cubic meters came in the shorthaul mode (preferential tariff for certain points) and 3.3 billion cubic meters in the “border-customs warehouse” mode.
In August 2020, imports amounted to 3.4 billion cubic meters of gas, which is 1.7 times (1.4 billion cubic meters) more than in August 2019.
In general, 72 traders ordered gas transportation from the EU to Ukraine in January-August, of which 45 were Ukrainian and 27 foreign companies, and more than 50 customers took advantage of the services of shorthaul and “customs warehouse.”
Ukraine in January-June 2020 increased import of oil (according to foreign economic activity code 2709) by 2.4 times (or 453,817 tonnes) compared to the same period in 2019, to 773,515 tonnes.
According to the State Customs Service of Ukraine, in the first half of the year, $264.688 million worth of raw materials were imported, which is 1.6 times more than in January-June 2019 ($165.235 million).
Oil supplies from Azerbaijan totaled $170.783 million (a share of 64.52%), the United States some $48.338 million (18.26%), Libya some $45.555 million (17.21%), and other countries some $0.012 million (0%).
Ukraine did not export crude oil in January-June 2020 and in 2019.
Ukraine increased natural gas imports to 70 million cubic meters (mcm) per day, which is the maximum figure since 2014 when natural gas was supplied from Russia, Head of the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine LLC (GTSOU) Serhiy Makogon has said.
“Such a considerable increase in imports became possible due to the creation of virtual points on the borders with Poland and Hungary, as well as the launch of virtual reverse flow. Last year the maximum imports [from the EU] did not exceed 66 mcm per day and was limited due to the existing infrastructure. Due to virtual reverse flow today, imports could reach up to 170 mcm per day,” Makogon said on his Facebook page on July 11.
He also said that major part of imported gas is pumped into the underground gas storage facilities (UGS) and a significant volume of it is supplied by European companies.
“The introduction of European rules of work on the border is an important part of Ukraine’s integration into the European gas market. Independent imports is a guarantee of fair prices for Ukrainian consumers,” Makogon said.
Ukraine reduced the import of aluminum ore and concentrate (bauxite) by 9% in January-May 2020 compared to the same period 2019, to 1.945 million tonnes.
According to statistics released by the State Customs Service, bauxite imports in monetary terms decreased by 8.2%, to $85.069 million during that period.
The import was mainly made from Guinea (67.77% of supplies in monetary terms), Guyana (15.02%) and Ghana (8.49%).
In January-May 2020, some 70 tonnes of bauxite worth $11,000 were re-exported to Poland, while in January-May 2019 Ukraine supplied 22 tonnes of bauxite worth $1,000 to Poland.
Ukraine in January-March 2020 increased import of oil (according to foreign economic activity code 2709) by 22.7% (by 33,400 tonnes) compared to the same period in 2019, to 180,673 tonnes.
According to the State Customs Service, in the first quarter, $99.746 million worth of raw materials were imported, which is 41.3% more than in January-March 2019 ($70.581 million).
So, oil supplies from Azerbaijan totaled $37.884 million (a share of 37.98%), Libya some $31.745 million (31.83%), the United States some $30.118 million (30.19%).
Ukraine did not export crude oil in January-March 2020 and in 2019.
Ukraine may save $5-6 billion on energy imports in 2020 due to a 50-60% reduction in prices for energy products, which account for 20% of the country’s imports, NBU Deputy Governor Dmytro Sologub has said.
“Our balance of payments shows that there are both positive and negative influence factors in our current account. First of all, this is a fall in oil prices, energy products, which account for 20% of our imports, compared to $12 billion in 2019. A fall in oil prices, a decrease in gas demand may lead to the fact that this year we will save $5-6 billion,” he said at an online briefing on Friday.
Sologub said that the epidemiological situation has led to a reduction in tourist travel.
“Last year, tourist trips of Ukrainian citizens amounted to $8 billion, and we can also expect a significant reduction,” Sologub said.
According to him, the National Bank expects a slight decrease in food prices, which account for more than 50% in Ukrainian exports. To date, the fall in food prices is much lower than for energy.
“As we understand it, even in a crisis, especially when sitting at home, people will consume food and this is the last thing they will refuse. Therefore, we expect that the demand for our export products will preserve, and if it decreases, then insignificantly,” the banker said.
He said that now there is a decrease in money transfers to the country from Ukrainian citizens working abroad. The National Bank expects that the reduction in the indicator will also be less than in energy products.
“Most likely, this influence will be temporary, as economic recovery in Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy will lead to the resumption of remittances,” he said.