September 12, 2019 / 4:23 PM / 3 days ago

UPDATE 1-Ukraine imports first U.S. LPG cargo - traders, data

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By Damir Khalmetov

MOSCOW, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Ukraine imported its first cargo of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the United States this week, according to traders and Refinitiv Eikon data, as Kiev seeks to cut its dependence on energy supplies from Moscow.

The tanker Ladybower with about 6,000 tonnes of LPG arrived at the Black Sea port of Odessa on Sept. 9, the data showed.

Russia has been one of the main LPG suppliers to Ukraine, but Kiev wants to diversify its sources of the fuel due to political tensions with Moscow.

According to the data, the cargo was re-loaded on Sept. 4-5 from the VLGC (Very Large Gas Carrier) Globe Atlas, which arrived from Houston, to SGC (Small Gas Carrier) Ladybower near the port of Limassol, Cyprus.

Traders said Ladybower was still awaiting to be offloaded near Odessa due to a lack of LPG storage capacity. They said the Ukrainian company Ukrtatnafta had bought the cargo from the international trader Vitol.

Vitol does not comment on its commercial operations. Ukrtatnafta has not replied to request for comment.

According to a Ukrainian industrial body, the share of direct Russian LPG supplies to Ukraine fell last year to 36.8% from 48% in 2017.

Starting from Aug.1, Ukraine introduced tariffs on imports of Russian LPG and diesel.

LPG, or propane and butane, is usually cheaper than many other kinds of fuel, such as gasoline. It can be used in cars, as a petrochemicals feedstock and to produce electricity.

Reporting by Damir Khalmetov; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Edmund Blair and David Evans

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