In the wholesale market the price of fuel fell below the prime cost, and each tonne is sold at a loss of several thousand rubles.
RBC reported about such data referring to the independent agency Analytics of commodity markets. During the week of April 13-19, the price of AI-92 at the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange fell by almost 11% - 4.2 thousand rubles. On April 20, it amounted to 35.77 thousand rubles per ton (in the European part of the Russian Federation).
However, the costs of the companies, including excise taxes, payments to the budget for damper, VAT and mineral extraction tax amounted to 38.07 thousand rubles per ton. That means that the net loss of the companies is approximately 2.3 thousand rubles per ton of AI-92.
Fuel is getting cheaper due to the lack of demand for it. Reuters reported that sales at gas stations fell by about half - from 30% to 70% in different regions. Earlier, Energy Minister Alexander Novak noted that in large cities, the fall in demand for gas was 10-30%.
This is due to the fact that the cities are closed - in connection with the spread of coronavirus infection, the authorities announce quarantine measures that destroy car traffic. In such circumstances, fuel producers are ready to go to reduce wholesale prices. According to Sberbank analyst Andrei Gromadin, they even agree to additional discounts on the exchange.
In 2018, the government launched a damper mechanism to stabilize the situation in the fuel market. According to this mechanism, in the case when the export market becomes premium compared to the domestic one, the state pays extra money to oil workers so that they do not raise prices. If prices in the export market fall, then the oilmen themselves transfer money to the budget.
Against the backdrop of a sharply falling oil price, the Russian government also decided to limit the import of fuel into the country. A ban on the import of petroleum products was introduced before September this year in order to prevent the domestic market from the cheap foreign gasoline pouring. Such a ban during a pandemic could support oil refining in Russia, said Dmitry Gusev, the vice president of the Independent Fuel Union.