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Russia Raises Crude Oil Duty by Most in Year After Urals Gains

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, will increase its export duty on most crude shipments by 12 percent from April 1, the biggest gain in a year, after Urals prices climbed to the highest level since 2008.

The standard duty will jump to $460.70 a metric ton, or $62.85 a barrel, from $411.20 a ton in March, according to an order signed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and published today on the government website. The discounted rate on some Eastern Siberian and Caspian Sea oil will rise to $241.50 a ton from $204.40 this month.

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 $123.53 to a barrel during the most recent period, Alexander Sakovich, a Finance Ministry adviser, said by phone on March 15. In the previous monitoring period, the crude price averaged $112.22, according to the ministry.

On March 1, Urals exceeded $125 a barrel, the highest since July 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It has since declined.

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. Without that reduction, the April crude duty would have set a record, exceeding the previous high of $495.90 a ton in August and September of 2008.

The duty for middle distillates and heavy products will rise to $304 a ton next month from $271.40 in March.

A gasoline tax that Putin imposed from May to counter domestic shortages will increase to $414.60 a ton, from $370.10 this month. That is 90 percent of the crude duty. The government may raise the duty on liquefied petroleum gases such as butane and propane to $158.60 a ton from $157.30 this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Torrey Clark in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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