Russia May Cut February Crude Export Tax 1% After Urals Drops

Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, may lower its export duty on most crude shipments by 1 percent from Feb. 1 after Urals prices fell.

The standard duty may drop to $393.70 a metric ton, or $53.71 a barrel from $397.50 a ton in January, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Finance Ministry data. The discounted rate on some Eastern Siberian and Caspian Sea oil may fall to $191.20 a ton from $194.10.

Russia bases the export duties on the average Urals crude price from the 15th day of one month to the 14th of the next. Urals, Russia’s benchmark export blend, averaged $108.23 a barrel during the most recent period, Alexander Sakovich, a Finance Ministry adviser, said by phone today. Urals averaged $109.09 in the previous period, according to the ministry.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin must sign off on the duties before they take effect. The government lowered the crude tax rate in October, applying a coefficient of 60 percent, down from 65 percent, and unifying the duty on most refined products at 66 percent of that levy.

The duty for middle distillates and heavy products may fall to $259.80 a ton next month, from $262.30 in January.

A gasoline tax that Putin imposed in May to counter domestic shortages is expected to drop to $354.30 a ton from $357.70 this month. That is 90 percent of the crude oil duty. The government may set the duty on liquefied petroleum gases, such as butane and propane, at $181.70 a ton, down from $201.

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