Polish border protests lead to LPG shortage, price hikes in Ukraine – analyst

KYIV – Protests and blockades by Polish lorry drivers at border crossings to Ukraine have curbed imports of motor vehicle gas (LPG) into Ukraine, causing a 30% rise in domestic prices, an analyst said on Tuesday.

Serhiy Kuyun, the head of Ukraine’s leading A-95 fuel consultancy, told an online briefing that about a third of all LPG supplies were imported through the border with Poland.

Polish truckers earlier this month blocked roads to three border crossings with Ukraine to protest against what they see as government inaction over a loss of business to foreign competitors since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukrainian officials said this week they hope to hold a new round of talks this week.

“We are incurring colossal losses because of the protest. This is simply an economic diversion against Ukraine,” Kuyun said.

Ukraine consumed about 1.5 million metric tons of LPG in 2021 while the consumption fell to about 1.1 million tons in 2022 due to the Russian invasion. Ukraine imported most of the fuel and mostly from Poland, analysts said.

Kuyun said traders were trying to move as much product as possible on the railways and redirect LPG supplies to Slovakian and Romanian crossings.

“But it’s hard to replace that volume quickly,” he added.

Ukrainian officials have previously said that LPG supplies could be most affected by the border blockade while petrol and diesel were not in danger. REUTERS