Afghanistan doubles Russian LPG fuel imports, industry data shows

(Reuters) - Afghanistan's Taliban government doubled purchases of Russian LPG in the January-November period, according to industry data, as Russia redirects supplies away from Europe amid political fallout from the Ukraine conflict.

Russia has not formally recognized the Taliban as legitimate authorities in Afghanistan, but was one of the first countries to make contacts and clinch business deals with the movement following its return to power in 2021.

Last year, Afghanistan and Russia signed a deal on supplying gasoline, diesel, gas and wheat after Moscow offered the Taliban administration a discount to average global commodity prices.

The move was the first known major international economic deal struck by the Taliban since it returned to power.

According to industry data, Russian LPG supplies to Afghanistan by rail in January-November exceeded 176,000 tons, more than double the deliveries seen in the same period in 2022.

Half of the volumes were delivered from the Orenburg gas processing plant.

Russia's total LPG exports to Central Asia in the first 11 months of the year also doubled, to 390,100 tons.

LPG, or propane and butane, is mainly used as fuel for cars, heating and to produce other petrochemicals.

Russia's LPG exports, unlike oil, have not been targeted by Western sanctions. However, Russia has redirected its supplies away from Europe, including to Central Asia.

Russia's main LPG exporters are Gazprom, Rosneft , Lukoil, Gazprom Neft and Orsk refinery.

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