Russia has enough gasoline to meet its domestic demand, Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said on Friday, downplaying the possibility that Moscow could limit gasoline exports.
Last month, Russia was considering restricting some gasoline exports after a sharp rise in wholesale gasoline prices.
“We discussed export restrictions in relation to rising prices on the wholesale market,” Shulginov was quoted as telling Russia-24 television channel in an interview on Friday.
“Otherwise, our market is provided with production, our oil refining is growing as well as the production of motor fuels,” the Russian energy minister said.
Despite the Western sanctions, Russian oil companies boosted their gasoline exports by 37% between January and May compared to the same period in 2022, Russian daily Kommersant reported last week, citing sources familiar with the data.
The Russian Energy Ministry last month asked oil companies to reduce their exports and raise supply on the domestic market, according to Kommersant’s sources.
After a sharp rise in wholesale gasoline prices in May and recommendations from the Energy Ministry to oil firms to curb exports, Russia's daily gasoline exports in the first six days of June were four times lower than the levels at the end of May, Kommersant reported.
Russia has redirected both crude oil and petroleum product exports after the EU embargoes on imports of seaborne Russian oil. The EU banned crude imports in early December 2022 and embargoed fuel imports from Russia as of February 5, 2023.
Russian gasoline exports surged in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2022, as Moscow placed growing volumes of fuels with African customers after the EU embargo on seaborne imports of Russia’s fuels. Russian gasoline exports were estimated at 1.9 million tons in the first quarter of 2023, up compared to 1.3 million tons exported in the same period of 2022, per Refinitiv data cited by Reuters.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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