The Russian government has temporarily halted the export of gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed the decree, underscoring the move as essential for easing the burden on consumers. "Temporary restrictions on the export of car petrol and diesel fuel have been introduced in Russia.
The decision was made to stabilize fuel prices in the domestic market," announced the government's press service via Telegram. These restrictions are expected to "saturate the fuel market, which in turn will reduce prices for consumers," the government stated.
The announcement comes at a time when Russian fuel stations have been grappling with financial losses for three consecutive months due to spikes in fuel prices.
Earlier Measures and Monitoring Mechanisms
Prior to the imposition of export restrictions, the Russian government had already been proactive in trying to bring balance to the volatile fuel market.
Measures included increasing the mandatory supply volumes of motor gasoline and diesel fuel to commodity exchanges. In addition, a daily monitoring system was set up to oversee fuel procurement for agricultural producers, allowing for operational adjustments to volumes as required.
"The government raised the mandatory supply volumes of motor gasoline and diesel fuel to the commodity exchange … Daily monitoring of fuel purchases for the needs of agricultural producers with prompt adjustment of volumes has also been set up," the government elaborated in its statement.
The Tipping Point: Record Wholesale Price Hikes
The new restrictions were deemed necessary due to a record surge in wholesale fuel prices. For the first time in Russian history, the exchange price of AI-95 gasoline reached an unprecedented high—crossing the 76,000 RUB (about 790 USD) per ton threshold.
This financial strain on gas stations and consumers alike indicated that previous measures were insufficient to stabilize the market. The government has signaled its readiness to take even more drastic actions if needed, hinting that the recent moves may just be the tip of the iceberg.
It remains to be seen whether these export restrictions will provide the desired economic relief for a country grappling with a challenging fuel landscape.