Russia lifts gasoline export ban

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Cross-border sales of motor fuel were halted in September to stabilize the domestic market

The Russian government has lifted restrictions on gasoline exports, the Energy Ministry announced on Friday. The move follows an earlier reversion of a similar ban on diesel sales abroad.

The ministry explained that its decision was due to a supply surplus and a decline in wholesale prices. It warned, however, that it could reimpose export bans if necessary.

“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 stated.

Russia, the world’s top seaborne exporter of diesel, placed a near-total ban on both diesel and gasoline exports in September following a spike in domestic wholesale fuel prices due to shortages. The restrictions caused a price surge in the global oil market, which was already tight due to crude supply cuts implemented earlier this year by Russia and Saudi Arabia.

However, the ban helped cool the fuel price spike in Russia’s domestic market. Last month, the government relaxed restrictions, allowing the export of diesel by pipeline.

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