Attempts to change the pricing model in the internal market are risky

17 march 2015

Alexander Kurdin, the expert of the Analytical Center, spoke on "Fuel prices: an island of stability?" at the National Oil and Gas Forum.

"The dynamics of prices in the market of gasoline and diesel fuel does not cause great concern, if we compare it with the consumer price index. In fact, the CPI was significantly ahead of the growth rate of motor fuel prices in late 2014 and early 2015", said Mr. Kurdin. According to the expert, questions to oil companies on the price of fuel are usually associated with a decrease in oil prices, but it should not be forgetten that the cost of raw materials generates only about 40% of the price of gasoline in Russia - it's less than, for example, in the US, because Russia has a higher proportion of indirect taxes and the cost of refining.

The price of oil in rubles was not reduced in the second half of 2014 due to the strengthening of the dollar against the ruble. At the same time, the netback, virtual domestic price of oil in rubles for Russian producers, that is the world price minus the export duty, decreased slightly, and it was associated with peculiarities of the fee charged, which remained relatively high. A significant impact on the netback and, consequently, on actual domestic prices in early 2015 was caused by a "tax maneuver" - oil has become significantly more expensive in the country, but it has not yet affected prices of motor fuel, in particular due to the simultaneous reduction of excise taxes.

"In reference with the above, prices of motor fuel in Russia are "an island of stability" among sharp fluctuations in world prices and exchange rates. All attempts to fundamentally change the pricing model in the domestic market at the moment are risky, because market participants have to deal with high uncertainty, which the state should not increase", said Mr. Kurdin.