The Russian government banned the import of fuel in the country until 1 October. Foreign fuel became attractive for the Russian market since March after a sharp decline in oil prices, which in Russia has not led to a corresponding reduction in fuel prices because of the automatic tax increases for oil companies. The ban on imports imposed in order to prevent the decline in demand for Russian products in terms of coronavirus.Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed the decree about a ban of four months on imported fuel to Russia. We are talking about a ban on the import of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, marine fuels and gas oils. The government may lift the ban before: until July 15, the validity of the order may be changed.Imported fuel became cheaper Russian March 2020, when oil prices fell after the collapse of the deal, OPEC+. The prices on the Russian domestic market did not drop as rapidly, as Russian oil companies are forced to pay to the Russian budget allocations for the damper, whose share in the wholesale fuel price in April reached 40%. With imported fuel damper is not paid and the import duty is only 5%. Thus, according to the Argus, in April imports of fuel from Belarus by rail amounted to 40.1 thousand tonnes against 200 tonnes for the whole of 2019. Delivery in the far East was not so significant, but only because traders, as reported by Reuters, was afraid not to have time to bring the fuel to a ban on imports.In the case of import demand for Russian products, even in conditions of quarantine measures could fall even further, about the likelihood of such a scenario, “Kommersant” reported on 31 March. Before the fuel from Europe in significant volumes were delivered to Russia in the 1990-ies in the conditions of shortage of own production.Embargo on the import of foreign fuel were discussed at the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with representatives of the FEC on April 29, adopted on the meeting results, “Kommersant” reported on 20 may. In the retail segment of the market the demand for gasoline in April was 40-50% at gas stations, diesel fuel — approximately 30% drop in the consumption of jet fuel was more than 50%, reported at the meeting the head of Ministry Alexander Novak. In these circumstances, the government also went on to decline for oil companies of standards of fuel sales on the stock exchange SPIMEX (see “Kommersant” on April 22).Dmitry Kozlov
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