3 Oct 2023 19:11

Oil traders in Kyrgyzstan fear fuel shortage due to problems with transit via Kazakhstan

BISHKEK. Oct 3 (Interfax) - A shortage of fuels and lubricants may arise in Kyrgyzstan by the end of October due to difficulties with transit through neighboring Kazakhstan, the Association of Oil Traders of Kyrgyzstan said.

"The problem with transit via the territory of Kazakhstan could lead to a shortage of fuel and lubricants on the fuel market of Kyrgyzstan in just 20 days. This issue must be resolved at the intergovernmental level between the two countries," the association said in a statement.

Kazakhstan's rail operator Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, as of September 1, and without official notification to participants in the transportation process, stopped coordinating monthly and additional plans for the transportation of transit cargo of fuel and lubricants for unknown reasons, the Association said.

"Domestic oil trading companies and Kyrgyzstan's railway operator Kyrgyz Temir Zholy are trying to solve the problem on their own. But today, almost all announced plans for October have been rejected by Kazakhstan Temir Zholy," the statement says.

Annual consumption of fuels and lubricants in Kyrgyzstan is about 1.5 million tonnes, the Association of Oil Traders says. Of these, 100-150,000 tonnes are produced domestically, and 1.2 million tonnes are imported from Russia. For the current year, the indicative balance for duty-free fuel shipments from Russia has been adopted in the following parameters: 460,000 tonnes of gasoline, 485,000 tonnes of diesel fuel, 150,000 tonnes of jet fuel, 50,000 tonnes of oil and 60,000 tonnes of petroleum bitumen.

At the end of 2016, Russia abolished duties on oil and petroleum products for Kyrgyzstan. Instead, an indicative balance created, which specifically considers the volumes of imports, domestic production, and consumption. Meanwhile, a requirement has been established that fuel supplied duty-free must be used only for domestic consumption in the republic.