22 Aug 2023 11:38

Russia's Energy Ministry recommends oil companies curb small-scale wholesale prices for diesel fuel in agricultural regions

MOSCOW. Aug 22 (Interfax) - Russia's Energy Ministry has recommended that oil companies curb small-scale wholesale prices for diesel fuel in the country's agricultural regions, according to a commentary on fuel supplies to farmers and constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

According to the statement, the Energy Ministry, in conjunction with the Agriculture Ministry, has considered the problematic issues of providing agricultural producers with fuel at regional petroleum depots.

The Energy Ministry realizes that there are "some complications with the rhythm of deliveries" of petroleum products, which has arisen amid the high load on the railway southbound during tourist season. "Agreements have been reached at the Energy Ministry headquarters with Russian Railways and oil companies on a targeted solution of the problematic issues, based on the unconditional priority of fuel supplies to farmers during the harvest period and sowing of winter crops," according to the statement.

"In addition to the general measures taken by oil companies and regulators to stabilize the price situation on the domestic market for petroleum products, the Energy Ministry has recommended that oil companies find ways to curb small-scale wholesale prices for diesel fuel in the agricultural regions of the country. The provision of fuel to agro-industrial businesses has been taken under the special control of the Energy Ministry headquarters," as stressed in the statement.

Russian Railways emphasized that fuel supplies by rail to southern regions do not depend on the growth of passenger transportation volumes.

"Loading plans are agreed in advance with shippers. The company accepts all requests for domestic fuel transportation on a priority basis. Delivery of oil products to filling stations in regions where refineries are located, for example, in Samara and Ryazan regions, is carried out by road, not by rail," the Russian Railways spokesperson said.

Earlier, sources told Interfax that farmers who are now harvesting the grown crops and preparing the fields for future sowing, are facing a sharp rise in diesel fuel prices. The sources also noted that there are problems with the timely delivery of railcars with petroleum products to the final branches of fuel-supplying companies by Russian Railways.

RZD stated that it maintains strict oversight of fuel transportation to Russian regions. Domestic deliveries are given priority.

"In the southern direction, there is a long idling time for tank cars waiting to be emptied by recipients. This complicates the situation at the stations and restrains growth of transportation volumes. At some terminals in the Rostov Region, Krasnodar Region and other regions of the Southern Federal District, the volume of tank cars waiting to unload exceed average capacity by more than 10 times. Russian Railways is in contact with oil companies. We are ready to offer options to improve delivery efficiency and solve all arising problems in real time," RZD said earlier.