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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Export Tax May Reach Record High

The government will raise its tax on crude oil exports to a record on Oct. 1 after world fuel prices rose in July and August, Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the Finance Ministry's customs department, said Monday.

The tax will probably increase to between $248.50 and $250.60 per ton, Sakovich said. The current duty is $223.90 per ton.

The government revises export taxes on crude and oil products every two months based on the previous two-month average prices for Urals, the country's benchmark export blend.

The export taxes for oil products will also reach record levels in October and November, Sakovich said. Exports of light products such as gasoline will probably be taxed in the range of $179.70 to $181.3 a ton, while heavy products, including fuel oil, will be taxed at from $96.80 to $97.70, he said.

Export duties often prompt oil firms to reshuffle their flows, refining more crude at home when duties rise and sending more abroad when they decline.

Crude exports through state pipeline monopoly Transneft declined 6.9 percent in June to 4.25 million barrels per day from the previous month after the tax was raised to $200.60 per ton.

The average price for Urals in July and August will be from $71.21 to $71.67 if oil trades at $65 to $70 per barrel during the next four days, Sakovich said.

The previous record for crude export tax was $237.60 in October and November.