Russia could start to buy fuel in Europe

The Russian fuel market may be under pressure from imported gasoline, mostly from Europe.

Россия может начать закупать топливо в Европе

First the possibility of this scenario has written for Reuters, reports Kommersant. According to Agency estimates, gasoline from Russia is more expensive than imported alternatives, at least for 6-8 thousand rubles per ton. The gasoline on the SPIMEX continue to become cheaper: the cost of AI-92 and AI-95 have decreased on 30 March by 3% and 4%, to 41.5 and 43 thousand RUB thousand RUB per ton, respectively. Thus, according to Reuters calculations, taking into account the import duty of 5%, the current exchange rate, excise tax and VAT of imported gasoline in the European part of Russia will cost 37 thousand rubles per ton.

Even more dangerous for the market it will be possible to import from Belarus, after the local refinery will be loaded duty-free Russian oil.

The cause of the problem — the damping component of the inverse of the excise tax on oil. The damper was invented, to smooth the impact of fluctuations in oil prices on the cost of fuel in Russia: high oil prices, the budget offset oil losses from the sale of fuel in the country compared to exports, and at low prices, as now, on the contrary, companies pay in the budget. These tax expenses to oil companies lay in the future prices for consumers, due to which there is a premium to import, I agree Sergey Yezhov from Vygon Consulting.

In his opinion, if the government does not take urgent measures, import is inevitable. Current valuations award from the supply of the domestic market of imported gasoline exceeds 15 thousand rubles per ton, on diesel fuel — up to 10 thousand rubles per ton. And since the size of the damper, according to the formula, does not depend on the current prices of the domestic market if oil companies decide to lower prices to be more competitive, it will only increase your losses, says an expert. Sergey Ezhov stressed that the damper was designed for a different range of oil prices and must be adjusted. However, the Finance Ministry, “Kommersant” said that now do not consider the adjustment of the damper.

Sources of “Kommersant” noted that the adjustment of the damper is a painful theme, as it will lead to reduction of budget revenues, which in the current environment so little.

More likely they consider the introduction of protective duties on the import of fuel. About the same say sources to Reuters.

The situation is fantastic — this was observed only in the distant 1990-ies, when Russia was short of gasoline of its own production, said Ivan Khomutov from “Petromarket”. Although economically import fuel is definitely beneficial, the expert sees a number of obstacles. So, if in the European part of Russia there are significant logistical constraints on the import of fuel, in the Asian part of such infrastructure, almost none. Possible delivery of fuel by rail from Finland, the Baltic States and China. But still need to organize it from scratch — schemes of importation of products from Europe in large volumes was not practiced for many years. The most realistic in this sense looks version of the import products from refineries of Belarus, I agree Ivan Khomutov. “Of course, this is a very bad scenario for the Russian refinery — and so they will lose market because of the guaranteed reduction in demand for gasoline in April—may, and will face unexpected competition for the Russian market from foreign players,” he concludes.