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UBJ AM News: Jan. 6, 2017
There were several noteworthy happenings on the natural gas front, talks on the fourth tranche of IMF aid are heating up, and both the U.S. and Canada made moves affecting Ukraine.
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk

The head of Naftogaz is urging Ukraine to attract a European company to manage its gas transportation system so that the country does not lose its status as a transit point for natural gas, Interfax Ukraine reported. Andriy Kobolev said that if Russian titan Gazprom builds the Turkish Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, it could shut Ukraine out from the delivery process. Kobolev said only three European countries have expressed interest so far.

Ukrtransgaz will allow the state-owned Naftogaz and private company ERU Trading to participate in a tender to buy 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas for industrial needs, according to Interfax Ukraine. Bids from three other companies were rejected.

Ukraine saved about $400 million by purchasing natural gas on the western border, Ukrinform quoted Naftogaz chief Andriy Kobolev as saying.

The Cabinet expects the IMF’s fourth tranche of assistance will total $1 billion, according to various news outlets. The final amount is most likely to be decided after President Petro Poroshenko meets with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, scheduled for January 17-20. Ukraine expects to get the fourth tranche in February.

DCH Group, owned by Ukrainian businessman Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, said it is willing to take over Odesa portside chemical plant on a lease arrangement, multiple sources reported. DCH Group officials are formally requesting that the State Property Fund furnish documentation attesting to the company's readiness to lease the beleaguered facility.

The United States has canceled anti-dumping duties on dry carbamide from Ukraine, Interfax Ukraine reported, citing the Economic Development and Trade Ministry. Anti-dumping duties on dry carbamide were introduced in 1987 on goods from the USSR and then on goods from the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings bought shares of major Ukrainian sugar producer Astarta, multiple sources reported.

Azerbaijani oil will be supplied to the Kremenchuk oil refinery, Ukrinform reported, citing a news release from Naftogaz. The formerly idle Odesa-Kremenchuk pipeline will return to use, and Ukrtansnafta will provide an extra 1.3 million tons to the volume of the project.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said Ukraine should develop its own lumber processing industry instead of remaining a "sawmill country" that produces minimally processed wood and other raw materials, Ukrinform reported. The country’s economic development ought to be based on three pillars: industrial development, foreign trade and investment attraction, he said.

Ukrainian seaports' grain-handling volumes for the first 11 months of 2016 was up 6.7 percent from a year ago, and the handling volume for the full year is going to hit a record high, UkrAgroConsult reported. In related news, Ukraine is projected to export a record 41.6 million tons of grain in marketing year 2016-17, Novoe Vremya reported.

Belarus banned poultry imports from the Chernivtsi region because of the avian influenza outbreak in the region, Ukrinform reported.

For comments and news tips, please email UBJ AM editor David Edwards at david.edwards@theubj.com.

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