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Russia could raise oil export tax to $400 per ton in June

Russia could increase oil export duty by $55-59 to $395-400 per metric ton, a senior Finance Ministry official said on Thursday.

“The average [crude] price was $101.77 per barrel in March through April 23. If the price is $105-113 per barrel in the next five trading days, the price for the entire monitoring period will be at a level of $102.1-103.1 per barrel, which puts export duty in the range of $395-400 per ton,” said Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the ministry's customs department. He said export duties on light oil products could rise to $279-282 per metric ton from June 1 against the current $241.4, and duty on heavy petroleum products could grow to $150-152 per ton up from $130.1.

The Russian government adjusts export duty on crude and petroleum products every two months, depending on changes in the Urals blend price on world markets. The average price of Russia’s benchmark Urals crude blend was $93.36 per barrel in the Q1 of 2008, up $39.12, year-on-year. The Urals average price in March 2008 was $99.78 per barrel, compared to $58.86 per barrel in the same month last year. On March 24, Russia’s economics ministry raised its 2008 forecast for the annual average price of Urals by 16% to $86 per barrel. (