July 20, 2020 / 11:02 AM / 21 days ago

Polish refineries increased oil imports by 2.2% in first quarter - central bank

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish refineries increased crude oil imports by 2.2% to almost 6.5 million tonnes in the first quarter, mostly due to bigger purchases from Russia and Saudi Arabia, a report by the central bank said.

Most of the crude refined by Polish refineries owned by state-run PKN Orlen (PKN.WA) and Lotos (LTSP.WA) comes from Russia via pipelines, but Warsaw has reduced its reliance in recent years and buys more oil from other sources, including the United States and Nigeria.

However, the report showed that oil supplies from Russia rose after six consecutive quarters of falls and accounted for more than 70% of total oil imports, compared with 61.5% in 2019 and 68% in 2018.

The central bank also said that the average price of oil imported to Poland rose to 229 zlotys (46.62 pounds) per barrel in the first quarter from 223 zlotys a year ago, mostly due to zloty weakening against the dollar.

The price was not yet affected by the slump in oil prices globally amid the coronavirus pandemic as the market oil price is reflected in imports with a monthly delay, the report said.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, editing by Louise Heavens

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