Russia is likely to extend to June the raised gasoline export duty, which went up 44 percent to $408.30 per ton in May to fight local shortages, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said on Thursday.
"There is a probability of extending it," Nabiullina told reporters, adding that the ministry would analyze the fuel market to make a final decision.
The government boosted the gasoline export tariff to a nearly prohibitive 44 percent from May 1 to fight local shortages which started in mid-April in some regions. Russian oil companies prefer to sell gasoline abroad where prices are higher than in Russia, where the state has capped prices.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service, the government's competition watchdog, has accused large oil firms of operating a cartel.
The government believes that the introduction of exchange trade in oil products will help regulate the market and has ordered companies to sell 15 percent of their products via exchanges.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said the government could take more steps to ensure uninterrupted deliveries of gasoline to the local market if it did not see stable supplies. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to continue keeping an eye on gasoline supplies.
MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti)