Russia has lifted restrictions on gasoline exports, one month after removing bans on most of its diesel exports, the country’s Energy Ministry said on Friday.
The government cited a surplus of supply, combined with a drop in wholesale prices, for the decision, Reuters reports. It added that restrictions on exports could be reimposed if necessary and that the country’s reserves of gasoline had risen by approximately two million tonnes.
“Over the past two months, while maintaining high volumes of oil refining… saturation of the domestic market has been ensured and a surplus in the supply of motor gasoline has been created, including in the exchange sales channel,” the ministry said. “A decision was made to terminate the temporary ban on the export of motor gasoline.”
Russia first introduced a ban on fuel exports on 21 September in an attempt to cope with high domestic prices and supply shortages. Four countries – Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – all previously part of the Soviet Union, were excluded from the ban.
On 6 October, it then lifted most restrictions on diesel pipeline exports, although transportation of the fuel by lorry and railway remained prohibited.
Diesel stands as Russia’s biggest oil product export, with the country exporting approximately 35 million tonnes of the fuel in 2022, compared with 4.8 million tonnes of gasoline.
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The government has also confirmed that it will continue its voluntary supply cuts in line with efforts by the OPEC+ lobby to shore up prices amid price dips and demand concerns. On Monday it was also reported that cuts could continue, as Brent Crude futures rose $1.78, hitting $82.39 per barrel at 13:50GMT. OPEC+ is expected to decide on possible cuts when the group meets later this month.
“It is not pleasant to see that market volatility is greater ahead of the next meeting while fundamentals overall remain solid,” an OPEC+ source told Reuters. “Ministers are likely to express some thoughts on what to do more, to secure a stable trend.”