Ukraine imported a record amount of gasoline in January to avoid a potential fuel shortage after the EU embargo on petroleum product deliveries from Russia came into force. One-third of the fuel came from Romania, Kyiv's new main supplier by far.
OMV Petrom and Rompetrol were responsible for 40% of the gasoline exported by Romanian companies to Ukraine in January.
Hungarian consumers also started buying fuel in Romania and Slovakia after Budapest raised taxes. Over 40% of Romanian gasoline deliveries to Ukraine in January supposedly came from Petrobrazi, a refinery belonging to OMV Petrom, and Petromidia, a Rompetrol refinery.
Ukrainian companies aimed to create stocks of fuel in January before the introduction of the EU embargo on fuel imports from Russia, which came into effect on February 5. Several areas of Ukraine have also faced power outages as a result of Russian attacks and bombings, leading some to resort to generators, which require fuel.
The spectacular increase in fuel exports from Romania to Ukraine can also be explained by the fact that the latter no longer imports significant volumes from Bulgaria, following tensions between the authorities in Sofia and the Russian giant Lukoil.