31 May 2023 11:34

Novak asks cos to evenly, regularly sell fuel on exchange to supply Russian market

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) - Fuel producers must ensure regular sales of gasoline and diesel fuel on the exchange to meet the needs of the domestic market, the Russian government's press service said in a statement following a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak on the situation on the oil products market.

"[Novak] instructed producers to ensure even and regular sales of gasoline and diesel fuel on the exchange market to cover the needs of the domestic market, including independent filling stations," the press release said.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Energy Ministry, Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), Finance Ministry and oil companies and Igor Artemyev, an aide to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

The participants noted that there has been a stable supply of oil products on the domestic market so far this year and that there are sufficient fuel reserves for the period of spring maintenance at refineries, the press release said.

"It is necessary to monitor prices at filling stations and in the wholesale segment taking into account the summer growth of demand and seasonal repairs at oil refineries. Oil companies must continue active work with the Energy Ministry's command center for monitoring oil product production and consumption," Novak was quoted as saying in the release.

The meeting was held against the backdrop of the continued rise in exchange prices for gasoline since mid-April. Exchange prices for Ai-95 octane gasoline are now at record highs.

The Energy Ministry said it is monitoring the situation on the fuel market and can restrict motor fuel exports if necessary. The FAS is prepared to back such a measure to protect the domestic fuel market.

Furthermore, another adjustment to the fuel damper is expected in the summer that may have not yet played out in the growth of prices on the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX).

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said earlier that the damper is currently going into oil refiners' margins and that the ministry proposes to cut it in half for the period from July 2023 to July 2024 in order to correct this situation. As a result, government payments to oil companies will decrease by 30 billion rubles per month.

The FAS will be instructed to make sure that companies do not attempt to raise prices for oil products after the damper is reduced.