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Russia cuts oil-export tax by $3.18 a barrel after prices fall

Russia, the world's second-biggest oil producer, cut its tax on crude exports by $3.18 a barrel after prices for the fuel declined.

The tax will decline to $156.40 a ton ($21.34 a barrel) in April and May, from $179.70 a ton in January and February, said Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the Finance Ministry's customs department, by phone in Moscow today. The country exported about 4.4 million barrels a day in January, suggesting the tax cut will save Russian oil companies about $850 million in April and May. The government will earn about $5.7 billion from the tax in that two month period. Russia revises the tax every two months based on the average international price for Urals, its benchmark blend. Urals averaged $51.82 a barrel in January and February, versus $56.01 in the previous two-month period. The tax on light products such as gasoline will decline to $117.70 a ton and to $63.40 for heavy products, Sakovich said. (Bloomberg)