MOSCOW- Russian oil refiners have boosted their requests for railway exports of diesel oil to Ukraine in February by 47% to 74,414 from 50,515 tonnes, Refinitiv data and Reuters calculations showed.
Rising wholesale prices in Ukraine, growing seasonal demand and concerns over possible supply disruptions amid rising political tensions in Eastern Europe have prompted the higher requests, industry sources said.
The railroad export requests are preliminary documents and may be adjusted before or during the month of delivery, while export quotas for supplies to Ukraine are subject to special permissions.
Requests to export gasoil to Ukraine in February were submitted by the Volgograd and Yaroslavl oil plants, owned by Lukoil, Rosneft and Gazpromneft, and still have to be approved, Refinitiv data showed.
Lukoil, Rosneft and Gazprom did not reply to Reuters requests for comment.
Russian railroad diesel exports to Ukraine in January have totalled 32,342 tonnes so far, while their approved limit is 77,234 tonnes.
Ukraine did not import diesel oil via its ports in January, Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed and traders said.
Ukraine consumes more than 7 million tonnes of diesel a year, importing two-thirds of its needs, mainly from Russia and Belarus. It also buys diesel from Lithuania and imports it via Black Sea ports.
Russia supplies gasoil to Ukraine by railroad and via a diesel pipeline with a capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per year. The pipeline connects Russia with Ukraine, Belarus and Eastern Europe.
Relations between Ukraine and Russia collapsed after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and Moscow backed fighters in the Donbass region in a war that has killed thousands and prompted Western sanctions against Russia.
(Reporting by Natalya Chumakova, writing by Gleb Gorodyankin; editing by Jason Neely) ((Gleb.Gorodyankin@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 12 42; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))