Kazakhstan to Change Estonia for Georgia as Oil Transit Hub
The central Asian nation of Kazakhstan will begin to divert its oil exports from Baltic ports to Georgia as a cost-cutting measure and partly due to business uncertainties in Russia.
The move will involve around 700,000 tons of oil, which was due to be transported to the West via ports in the Baltics, mostly in Estonia, Business Recorder reported.
The reasons described were competition from Russian oil producers, uncertainty over tax-hikes on transit goods that Russia plans to enforce starting in 2015, and cost-cutting measures.
Estonian Railways recently reported decreasing cargo volumes, mainly due to fewer oil products transported via railways to Estonian ports. Around 15 million tons of cargo are currently transported on Estonia's railways each year. Oil products make up more than half of that figure, with the vast majority of that going to ports for export.