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Tajikistan’s Fuel Imports Decreased in January-September 2011

Wednesday 26 October 2011

DUSHANBE (AISA-Plus) – Tajikistan’s fuel imports have been considerably decreased in January-September of 2011, Asia-Plus reported referring to the Chairman of the Customs Service under the Government of Tajikistan, Gurez Zaripov.

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A local fuel station on the way to Dushanbe.

“Some 344,000 tons of oil products have been delivered to the country over the report period, which is 124,000 tons fewer than in the same period last year,” Zaripov said at parliamentary hearings on 2011 national budget on October 25. He said that the decrease in fuel imports have resulted from Russia’s decision to impose export duty on light oil products for Tajikistan. “As a result of this measure, fuel prices have jumped sharply in Tajikistan and volumes of fuel imports have been decreased considerably,” Zaripov said.

Another factor that has contributed to decrease in customs payments in January-September 2011, is increase in import of preferential goods. “In January-September 2011, preferential goods accounted for 73.2% of the overall volumes of Tajikistan’s imports,” Zaripov said. Furthermore, new food production enterprises have been introduced into operation over the same nine-month period that has also led to decrease in imports, he noted.

Over the report period, customs payments have amounted to 1.655 billion somoni, which is 39 million somoni, or 2.4%, more than it was originally planned. Zaripov noted that customs officers have transferred 1.176 billion somoni to the national budget over the report period.

Tajikistan had been exempted from tariffs on Russia light oil exports from 1995 to 2010. That exemption was cancelled in May. The two sides have been negotiating the tariffs since. As a consequence, Tajikistan is turning to Turkmenistan and other potential import partners. In 2010, the average price of a ton of Russian oil sent to Tajikistan was US $691. But, that number jumped to $843/ton in January and then to $873/ton in February. As a result, Tajikistan imported 16.4% of its fuel in the first two months of this year from Turkmenistan. Last year, Russia supplied 90% of Tajikistan’s fuel needs. Tajikistan has also begun negotiating with other oil exporting companies such as Azerbaijanis and Kazakhs because of the increased tariffs.

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