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Russia May Raise March Crude Export Duty 4.4% After Urals Gains

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, may raise its export duty on most crude shipments by 4.4 percent as of March 1 following an increase in the price of the country’s Urals blend.

The standard duty may rise to $411.20 a metric ton, or $56.10 a barrel, from $393.70 a ton in February, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Finance Ministry data. The discounted rate on some Eastern Siberian and Caspian Sea oil may grow to $204.40 a ton from $191.20.

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 $112.22 a barrel during the most recent period, Alexander Sakovich, a Finance Ministry adviser, said by phone today. Urals averaged $108.23 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 rise to $271.40 a ton next month, from $259.80 in February.

A gasoline tax that Putin imposed in May to counter domestic shortages is expected to increase to $370.10 a ton from $354.30 this month. That is 90 percent of the crude oil duty. The government may lower the duty on liquefied petroleum gases such as butane and propane to $157.30 a ton from $181.70.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jake Rudnitsky in Moscow at jrudnitsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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