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Russia has lifted its gasoline export implemented in mid-September, citing a supply surplus of some 2 million metric tons, Reuters reports.
The lifting of the export restrictions follow a similar move to suspend restrictions on diesel exports by pipeline during the first week of October. Reuters cited the Russian energy ministry as saying on Friday that domestic market saturation had been ensured over the past two months, creating a surplus of motor gasoline.
The ministry said it could reimpose export bans if that surplus vanished.
Russia restricted diesel and gasoline exports on September 21 in an effort to stabilize domestic fuel prices in the face of soaring prices and shortages as crude oil rallied and the Russian ruble weakened. Prior to implementing the bank, Russia had raised mandatory supply volumes for motor gasoline and diesel fuel to deal with a supply crunch.
The ban on diesel was lifted on the condition that at least 50% of producer supplies went to the domestic market. Russia’s diesel exports had been redirected from the European Union following the bloc’s embargo in February this year, to markets in Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
In the meantime, Russia will continue its voluntary oil output cuts through the end of this year in coordination with OPEC+; however, the gasoline and diesel bans had made that commitment more challenging.
Data from the first week of November showed that Russia’s seaborne diesel exports had fallen by 11% in October, compared to September.
According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Russia’s gasoline and diesel bans were “partly the result of efforts to protect domestic fuel prices from the vagaries of the market, and partly a consequence of government infighting. It’s also a stark demonstration of how the stresses of the war in Ukraine are revealing themselves in unexpected places.”
Also on Friday, the Russian State Duma (parliament) formally reinstated damper payments subsidies to oil refineries, Reuters reported, in an effort to further encourage sales on the domestic market over higher-priced exports.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com