Media: Belarus bought the first batch of oil from Iran
Russia-Belarus energy dispute has led to the fact that Minsk, as warned earlier, Alexander Lukashenko, will buy oil from Iran, regardless of losses.
According to experts, Iranian oil will cost Belarus more than a third more expensive than Russian, but Belarus had previously demonstrated that they are ready to go to economic losses. However, the analysts believe that the message about the contract with Iran is just information “stuffing” on the eve of the Russian-Belarusian talks on oil and gas.
Belarus begins purchasing oil from alternative suppliers. As reported on Thursday by Reuters, citing sources among oil traders, Belarusian “Beloyl” signed with the National Iranian oil company (NIOC) contract to supply 80 thousand tons of Iranian oil.
Download of the tanker can begin as early as February 20.
The supply route is not yet known, but according to Reuters, the raw material from Iran may be first delivered to the Ukrainian Odessa on the Black sea, or to Ventspils (Latvia) in the Baltic sea and then by rail go to Belarus.
Neither Belarus nor the Iranian company on request “Газеты.Ru” about comments did not answer.
To buy oil from Iran Belarus after Russia in the first quarter of 2017, reduced the supply from 4.5 million tons to 4 million tons, and in the whole year, threatened to reduce from 24 million tons to 12 million tons.
Russia’s decision, in turn, was a reaction to the fact that Belarus still has not paid debts for the gas delivered in 2016. As previously reported, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, at the end of January the sum of debt was $550 million Debt was formed due to the fact that Minsk has considered the price set by Moscow ($132 per 1 thousand cubic meters), unfair and unilaterally decided to pay for delivery at the fair, from his point of view, a price of $73.
As stated at the beginning of February President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, in response to the restriction of oil deliveries from Russia Belarus has submitted to the court.
Lukashenko has previously said that the Belarusian oil refineries will be able to do without Russian oil, even though it, according to him, and will not be easy. In particular, they talked about alternative purchases and even on the conduct of Belarusian companies own production in countries such as Venezuela, Canada and Iran.
The Belarusian leader stressed that “freedom and independence is very cost effective and is not assessed any money and figures”.
The main problem is “money and numbers”. Purchase any oil, except Russia, will mean losses for the Belarusian budget, while Russia sells Belarus oil excluding export duties (reviewed each month, in February — $89,5 per ton), and in addition, you should consider the cost of transportation.
“Supplies from Iran at market prices, taking into account logistics, will cost Belarus about $120-130 per tonne more expensive than if raw materials were purchased in Russia (about $440 per ton to about $310),” assesses head of the sector economic Department of the Institute for energy and Finance Sergei Agibalov.
Thus even a relatively small party of 80 thousand tons from Iran means for the Belarusian budget the extra costs in the amount of $9.6 to 10.4 million the Main difference in price gives the export duty, but even without accounting for its purchases of Iranian oil are considerably more expensive.
Agibalov cites the example of Poland, which in August last year, has already made a test purchase of raw materials from Iran. Even though the price of Russian oil to Poland, unlike Belarus, is included export duties, Iranian oil was at $40 per tonne more expensive supplies from Russia ($344 vs. $304). “At the same time Poland was originally stated that the delivery may become permanent, but in the end bought only two tankers of Iranian oil,” — says Efimov.
But Minsk has previously successfully demonstrated that he is ready to bear economic losses. So, in the early 2010s Belarus, who is then in the process another energy dispute with Russia was buying oil from Venezuela in spite of the fact that the supply from Latin America was twice as expensive as Russian, which is subsequently recognized and Belarus itself.
The message on the beginning of purchases by Belarus of Iranian oil appeared on the background of statements of Moscow and Minsk that have already prepared the final document relating to oil and gas supplies from Russia to Belarus. On Thursday said Arkady Dvorkovich and his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Semashko. The latter also noted that the Protocol will be published next week, but neither side did not disclose.
Expert of the national energy security Fund the political scientist Igor Yushkov believes that the message of the Belarusian-Iranian oil contract is nothing more than information spreading in anticipation of the continuation of the negotiations.
“A model of Belarus has already experienced, and with success. It was after she began to buy oil from Venezuela, Russia has agreed on duty-free delivery — reminds the analyst. But now it’s too much like a bluff. In any case, even if the Protocol mentioned by Dvorkovich and Semashko, signed a final agreement will be reached on the highest level, that is, between Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko.”