27 Nov 2023 14:11

Belarus increases mineral fertilizer exports through Russian territory in 3.4-fold in Jan-Oct - expert

MINSK. Nov 27 (Interfax) - Belarus shipped 8.8 million tonnes of mineral fertilizers through Russian transport channels from January through October of this year, which is a threefold increase over the figure for the same period in 2022.

"The import and transit of fertilizers produced in the Republic of Belarus through Russian transport channels for the first ten months of 2023 totaled 8.8 million tonnes. Compared to the same period last year, the volumes increased threefold," the Russian information and analytical center Rupec reported, citing Deputy General Director of the Institute for Natural Monopolies Research (IPEM), Vladimir Savchuk.

Shipments of Belarusian fertilizers directly to Russia increased 50%, while transit through Russian territory rose 3.4 times, IPEM estimates.

Fertilizer shipments from Belarus in containers increased 2.4-fold. The main destinations were the Bronka port in the Big Port of St. Petersburg, as well as the Kanisai railway export junction on the Russian-Kazakh border in the Orenburg region. In October of this year, more than 60% of all deliveries from Belarus came from Bronka, and 25% from Kanisai.

"Belarusian mineral fertilizer manufacturers are competing with Russian companies for access to logistics infrastructure," the report says.

Earlier it was reported that the Belarusian authorities were discussing the expansion of port infrastructure in Russia for the shipment of potassium chloride. In early October, Alexander Lukashenko announced support from Russian President Vladimir Putin with regard to Minsk using additional port facilities in the ports of the Leningrad region, but there is no consensus in the republic on the advisability of such a decision.

At the end of September, Belaruskali General Director Ivan Golovaty said that the company plans to export at least 8 million tonnes of potash fertilizers this year.

Since February last year, Belarus has been deprived of the opportunity to transship potash fertilizers through the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, through which 10-11 million tonnes of potassium chloride were previously exported annually, accounting for 20% of its global exports. In addition, there are EU sectoral sanctions against Belarusian potash fertilizers, as well as EU and US prohibitive sanctions against Belaruskali and its trader BKK.

In the first half of last year, Belarus began reorienting the transshipment of potash fertilizers to Russian ports. In June, Russia's Transport Minister, Vitaly Savelyev, stated that transshipment of Belarusian potash fertilizers through Russian ports in 2023 could increase to 8.4 million tonnes from 3 million in 2022.

Previously, the Belarusian authorities stated that the transshipment of potash fertilizers had been reoriented to Russian ports; it was also reported that there was an increase in potash fertilizer shipments to China by rail. In July, Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov noted that the technical capabilities of Russia's ports would allow Belarus to increase potassium chloride exports to 12 million tonnes, which is equal to the pre-sanctions level.