Russia won’t ban fuel exports – energy minister
Russia has sufficient supplies of gasoline and diesel, and has no intention of banning exports, Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said at the Eurasian Economic Forum on Wednesday.
According to him, the only issue currently on the table is a potential reduction of cross-border sales of the fuels. He noted that no decision had been made on this matter yet, as the Ministry of Energy is assessing the situation on the domestic fuel market and will work out proposals for potential export cuts in the near future.
“We’ve not mentioned the word ‘ban.’ We are talking about reductions. The Ministry of Energy gives recommendations to our companies regarding the increase of [domestic] supply and a reduction of exports, but not a ban. Retail prices are now stable, and we see that the gross margin of gas stations remains high... We will monitor this situation and, if necessary, we will come up with a proposal aimed at limiting exports of gasoline and diesel fuel,” Shulginov stated.
His statement follows a recent Reuters report, in which the news outlet claimed that Moscow was considering a ban on gasoline exports and an increase in the mandatory sale of the fuel on the commodity exchange in order to prevent domestic shortages and price increases.
The price of gasoline on the Russian commodity exchange has been on the rise since early April. Reuters data shows that the average wholesale price of the most commonly used Ai-92 fuel grade reached its highest level in May since the fall of 2021. The exchange price of the better-quality-grade Ai-95 broke several records this month, with the latest historical high set at 61,409 rubles ($764) per ton on May 17.
The press service of the Ministry of Energy told RBK news outlet that the increase in the exchange price of gasoline would not affect its retail price, as the country has stocked up on enough fuel ahead of the maintenance season at refineries.
Russia’s gasoline exports have been increasing in recent months, setting a historical record of 205,500 barrels per day in January, according to data from Kpler. However, sales may fall during the upcoming vacation season from May to November, when demand for the fuel traditionally grows on the domestic market, Ekaterina Krylova, managing expert of the PSB Center for Analysis and Expertise, told Vedomosti.
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