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European diesel prices jump amid Russia’s temporary export ban

Russia has temporarily banned the export of diesel fuel in an attempt to stabilise domestic supplies, thus increasing pressure on the global fuel market, according to Bloomberg.

Temporary restrictions will help saturate the fuel market, that in turn will reduce prices for consumers.

This is how the press service of the Russian government commented on the situation on its website. The ban, which also applies to petrol, comes into effect on 21 September and has no end date, according to the decree signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

The exceptions will be small shipments, including deliveries to some trade alliance partners, as well as humanitarian aid and transit.

Prices in Europe jumped amid fears that the Russian government’s measure will exacerbate global shortages. Global refineries face the difficult task of producing enough fuel despite restrictions on crude supplies from Russia and Saudi Arabia, the largest producers within the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies.

According to an expert, Russia exported an average of about 63,000 tonnes of diesel fuel per day and just over 8,000 tonnes of gasoline per day in the first 13 days of September. Daily diesel exports fell 31 per cent compared to the average for the first 30 days of August.

The decline is attributed to seasonal maintenance and the redirection of fuel to the domestic market following government efforts to reduce prices.

The Russian government held talks with oil producers for several days to decide on measures to curb fuel price increases. President Vladimir Putin said last week that officials and companies had reached an agreement among themselves. However, people familiar with the situation refuted the president’s words, saying the disputes are still ongoing.

Rising car fuel prices have greatly affected the rate of inflation, which has become a problem for the Kremlin ahead of the presidential elections in March.

According to the latest data from the Federal Statistics Service, retail prices for gasoline and diesel fuel in Russia increased by 9.4% from the beginning of the year to September 18, while overall consumer prices rose by only 4%.

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