Azerbaijan proves to be the largest provider of diesel fuel in Georgia. In 2020, Georgia imported 214.9 thousand tonnes (19.4%) of diesel fuel from Azerbaijan, 44.7 thousand tonnes (26.3%) more than in 2019. The Union of Oil Product Importers of Georgia has provided Report News Agency with this information.
According to the business union, last year, Georgia imported a total of 1,106 thousand tonnes of gasoline and diesel fuels, which is 10,000 tonnes (0.9%) more than 1,096 thousand tonnes of gasoline and diesel fuels imported in 2019.
In 2020, Georgia imported 540.4 tonnes of gasoline (a decrease of 544.3 thousand tonnes (0.7%) if compared to that of the last year) and 565.6 thousand tonnes of diesel fuel (an increase of 13.9 thousand tonnes - 551,7 thousand tonnes (2.5%) if compared to that of the last year).
Last year, Georgia imported 342.8 thousand tonnes of gasoline and diesel fuels from Russia, which was 31% of total annual imports (the highest figure in 2020).
The list of other countries that provided Georgia with fuels in 2020 are as follows:
Azerbaijan - 214.9 thousand tonnes - 19,4% (an increase of 44,7 thousand tonnes or 26.3%),
Romania - 206.9 thousand tonnes - 18.7% (a decrease of 93.1 thousand tonnes or 31%),
Bulgaria - 112 thousand tonnes - 10.1% (an increase of 19.6 thousand tonnes or 21.2%);
Turkmenistan - 104.7 thousand tonnes - 9.5% (a decrease of 14.7 thousand tonnes or 12.3%),
Greece - 45 thousand tonnes - 4.1% (a decrease of 15.7 thousand tonnes or 25.9%),
Kazakhstan - 41.5 thousand tonnes - 3.7% (an increase of 39.6 thousand tonnes of 2084.2%),
Turkey - 16.6 thousand tonnes - 1.5% ( a decrease of 3.2 thousand tonnes or 16.2%),
Moldova - 10.6 thousand tonnes - 0.9%, and other countries.
From Azerbaijan, Georgia imports diesel fuel only, and the country is the largest diesel fuel provider in Georgia, the Union of Oil Product Importers of Georgia says.
The obligation to introduce the Euro 5 diesel standard in Georgia will be fulfilled a year later than planned. Georgia has twice rescheduled the introduction of the Euro 5 standards for diesel for a later date. The new standard was set to come into force on 1 January 2020. However, in October of 2020, it was reported that the pandemic thwarted Azerbaijan in implementing the new system, and the government moved the date of realizing its plan to the end of 2021. Accordingly, the Georgian government's new order is now set to be enforced a year later to ensure that Georgia keeps importing Azerbaijan's diesel fuel.
The Georgian Union of Oil Product Importers said in October that if the new diesel standard takes effect in 2021, the Republic of Azerbaijan will be the only country, out of all countries Georgia imports diesel fuel, from which it will no longer be imported to Georgia.
According to the Georgian Union of Oil Product Importers, the state program to stimulate agricultural landowners and stiffened control on diesel smuggling operations have resulted in increased diesel fuel imports from Azerbaijan.
The Union of Oil Product Importers has long suspected that undeclared diesel fuels have been sold in Georgia, and as many as 33,750 liters of diesel fuels were attempted to be smuggled into the country for the last two months.
Attempts to import undeclared diesel fuel from Azerbaijan are especially commonplace. Head of the Union of Oil Product Importers Vano Mtvralishvili explains that the reason why similar attempts are prevalent in Georgia is that in the neighboring country, diesel fuel costs GEL 1.10 while its price amounts to GEL 2 locally.
As for the state agro-diesel program, the SOCAR participates in it. Under the agro-diesel promotion program, more than 123,700 beneficiaries had received discount cards for up to 32,000 tons of agro-diesel. Farmers who have already cashed in discount cards in total have saved more than GEL 5.2 million.
As SOCAR Georgia Petroleum Director Levan Giorgadze says, the agro-diesel program has met the SOCAR company's expectations.
Georgian Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili said that the SOCAR put the best conditions on the table in an open competition by the ministry, and they decided to involve the company in the program afterward.