Traders are reporting Russia has resumed shipments of LPG cargoes from the port of Kerch in Crimea after an eight-year halt.

Russian producers have been moving out propane and butane exports on a regular basis, sources told Reuters.

Shipments were halted in 2015 due to sanctions arising from the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian territory the year before.

The restart has demonstrated the Putin regime’s ability to manage international sanctions and keep on shipping out energy cargoes, observers said.

Sources told Reuters that supplies started moving in the second half of June.

The exports are being shifted via rail to the port of Kavkaz in the Azov Sea, and then by ferry to Kerch for onward shipping.

LPG has been exempt from Western sanctions, but Russian companies that are sanctioned have been sending volumes away from Europe to China, Turkey, the Balkans and northern Africa.

Traders said around 6,000 tonnes were sent to Kerch between 1 and 20 September.

In July and August, deliveries to the port were only 5,800 tonnes.

The product is priced attractively but export potential is limited by security threats and a shortage of LPG carriers, the sources said.

About 34% of all Russian LPG exports have been sent to Poland so far this year, with 10% going to Latvia, 6% to China and 5% to Afghanistan.

Rates for the largest LPG carriers have been hitting new records in recent weeks on congestion and vessel shortages.