“Price ceiling” for Russian oil has absolutely no sense

“Price ceiling” for Russian oil has absolutely no sense

24 November, 16:55
Дмитрий Некрасов
From the very beginning, it was extremely interesting for me to understand how the authors of the idea with a “price ceiling” for Russian oil would explain its obviously predictable failure. However, the latest EU ministerial discussions look even more surreal than I originally thought.

Dmitry Nekrasov, political analyst

I would understand the logic if the price ceiling were calculated according to the principle "the current exchange price of Brent minus X". In this case, with X fewer discounts on sales to Asia, Russia would incur minor additional losses on sales to the EU. With X, there are significantly more discounts from sales to Asia, Russian exports would be reoriented to Asia, from which discounts would still increase and Russia would suffer some losses (not at all on the scale that was announced, but nonetheless).

It would be even more logical to levy X as a tax on Russian oil supplied to the EU. With a small X, this tax would indeed be paid, and it could be sent, for example, to Ukraine. This would have minimal impact on the Russian economy, but at least some logic.

However, they are discussing the ceiling in the format of a fixed, not tied to current quotes, figure. And here you can still understand the logic of Poland's proposals for a $30 ceiling (by the way, why not 30 cents?). It is clear that no one would sell according to such a ceiling, but the reorientation of supplies to Asia with discounts and additional logistics would cause some losses to Russian oil revenues.

But horizon 65-70? Fixed? What tasks does it basically solve? 65-70 is approximately what, taking into account discounts, Russian exporters are now receiving in India. And some long-term contracts are even cheaper. I think that many Russian oilmen would be happy to sign a long-term contract in the EU for a year at fixed 65 with pleasure. And they would cover up insurance against price fluctuations with some third-hand hedges.

The “price ceiling”, even at 65, practically does not change anything for Russian exports at current prices and lower (and they are more likely to be lower than higher), and with a sharp rise in prices, this increase compensates for the costs of reorienting exports to Asia.

In general, not only is the idea initially dubious, but with such a ceiling, it’s completely absurd.

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