Russia's Sibur raised LPG exports via Baltic Sea ahead of sanctions

(Reuters) - Russia's biggest petrochemicals producer Sibur increased exports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by almost a quarter last year via the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga in expectation of Western sanctions, LSEG and trader data showed on Friday.

The European Union Council last month adopted a 12th package of sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, introducing a new LPG import ban.

Traders said that buyers in European Union had already started to ditch Russian LPG in 2022 because of sanctions risks.

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

According to Reuters calculations, based on LSEG data, Russian monthly LPG exports from Ust-Luga rose last year to 76,000 metric tons from 62,000 tons in 2022 as Russia redirected flows to Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Russia also supplied LPG from Ust-Luga to new markets, such as India, Tanzania, Sudan and Oman. Supplies to Turkey jumped last year by about 3.5 times to 381,000 tons.

At the same time, the share of total direct LPG supplies from Ust-Luga to the EU and UK declined to 15% (142,000 tons) in 2023 from 43% (321,000 tons) in 2022 and 84% (469,000 tons) in 2021, Reuters calculations show.

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