In January-June 2019, Ukraine imported 5.63 billion cubic meters of natural gas from European partners, which is 27.9% (+1.23 billion cubic meters) more compared to the same period last year.
Monthly dynamics of natural gas imports for the 1st half of 2019 looks as follows:
• January — 0.25 billion cubic meters;
• February — 0.67 billion cubic meters;
• March — 0.64 billion cubic meters;
• April — 0.88 billion cubic meters;
• May — 1.54 billion cubic meters;
• June — 1.66 billion cubic meters.
Wherein, the diversification of supplier countries has not changed: 3.57 billion cubic meters were supplied from Slovakia to Ukraine (+ 12.8% for the first half of 2018), from Hungary – 1.57 billion cubic meters (+ 46%) and from Poland – 0.7 billion cubic meters (twice as much as last year).
A significant increase in fuel purchases is due to uncertainty regarding the situation between Ukraine and Russia in the issue of the continuation of the gas transit agreement in 2020, or signing of new arrangements. Therefore, due to the risk that the Russian side will refuse Ukrainian gas transmission services, a significant reduction in the cash flow from the transit of gas will occur, Naftogaz of Ukraine is reinsured before the heating season, purchasing natural gas at seasonally low prices in spring and summer.
A significant reduction in the price of gas on hubs in Europe began in March-April 2019, when prices have already fallen to the level of 6600 – 6800 UAH/ thousand cubic meters. But at the end of June, the price of the European gas was already 4907 UAH/thousand cubic meters, which creates good conditions for filling the Ukrainian UGSFs with fuel.