JSC Russian Railways (JSC RZD) is mulling over an unprecedented 25% discount for transportation of Belarusian oil products in order to re-direct transit from the ports of the Baltic states to Russian ports, the Russian daily Kommersant reports.
A source in RZD has told the newspaper that the company will look into the possibility to provide the discount for transit of gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil from oil refineries in Belarus to Russian north-west ports this week.
The discount will make the tarrifs of Russian Railways comparable to the rates for ports of Ventspils (Latvia) and Klaipeda (Lithuania). The increased volume of shipments of high-margin oil products will provide additional revenue of about 8 billion Russian rubles per year to JSC RZD (over $126 million – TUT.BY note).
It is assumed that the discount will be valid till the end of 2018. If accepted in the usual way, the decision will come into force ten days after publication.
JSC Russian Railways declined to comment.
At present over 90% of oil exports from Belarus is shipped through the ports of the Baltic states and the Black sea ports of Ukraine. Earlier the Russian media reported that Kremlin was proposing to introduce an obligation for Belarus to export certain volumes of oil products via Russian ports in the intergovernmental agreement regulating duty-free oil supplies from Russia to the Belarusian oil refineries.
However, shipments through Russian ports are logistically more expensive – hence, possible only on condition of discounts on railway transportation and guaranteed access to pipeline capacity.
Last week representatives of the port of Klaipeda expressed hope that the vloume of transit from Belarus would not be reduced.