KME Chartered Accountants

March 19,2012

Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, may increase its export duty on most crude shipments by 12 percent from April 1, the biggest gain in a year, after Urals prices reached its highest level since 2008.

The standard duty may rise to $460.70 a metric ton, or $62.85 a barrel, from $411.20 a ton in March, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Finance Ministry data. The discounted rate on some Eastern Siberian and Caspian Sea oil may grow to $241.50 a ton, compared with $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 (RUOIEX%), 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 today. 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 datacompiled by Bloomberg.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin must sign off on the levies before they take effect. 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 may grow to $304 a ton next month, from $271.40 in March.

A gasoline tax that Putin imposed from May to counter domestic shortages is expected to increase to $414.60 a ton, from $370.10 this month. That is 90 percent of the crude oil 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.

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