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Ukraine toughens chemical products' imports from Belarus for three years

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Naftan-Polimir. Photo: svaboda.org

Effective from 1 September 2018, Ukraine introduced restrictions on the supplies of sulfuric acid and oleum from Belarus citing "the interest of Ukrainian manufacturers." Previously, Ukraine regularly bought these chemical products from Belarus' three chemical giants - the chemical plant in Homiel, Naftan (Navapolack) and Hrodna-Azot.

Ukraine's Ministry for Economic Development and Trade told Radio Svaboda that their decision on quotas had been taken after an anti-dumping investigation approved by the Intersectoral Commission on International Trade.

The quotas on the Belarusian products will be in force for three years. Belarus will be able to supply 30,769 throusand tons of products to Ukraine by 31 August 2019, 32,307 thousand tons from 1 September 2019 through 31 August 2020, and 33,923 thousand tons from 1 September 2020 through 31 August 2021.

Simultaneously, Ukraine has intrdouced quotas for the same products from Russia and several other countries, except the countries in Africa, Asia and other CIS member states. Ukrainian officials reckon these measures will help local plants increase their output and diversify supplies.

Ukrainian economists estimate that Belarusian suppliers have occupied up to 99% of Ukraine's market in the past several years. For example, imports of sulfuric acid grew more than threefold from 2014 to 2017. The price was twice as cheaper as the prime cost of Ukrainian manufacturers. Before 2014, Ukraine's domestic market had received supplies of sulfuric acid mainly from the plants in Crimea and Donbas. 

In the first six months of 2018, Belarus exported 25.569 thousand tons of sulfuric acid to Ukraine. Although it is 2% less than in the same period last year, the exports grew in monetary terms almost twofold from $606.9 000 in January - June 2017 up to $1.123 million this year.