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New excise taxes will raise the prices of automotive fuel

photo: Kirill Iskoldsky

The Ministry of Finance recently announced forecast of growth of prices for gasoline in 2016. With the price of oil $30 per barrel, the Finance Ministry estimates the cost of petrol will increase by 5%, which is below the expected level of inflation. Approval, to put it mildly, not indisputable.

Forecasts for growth in gasoline prices in 2016 have become topical in connection with the second consecutive increase in excise duties on fuel. From 1 January they grew by 36.1%, from April 1, decided to increase them by 34.3% to 10,13 thousand. rubles per ton. In terms of usual size, from 1 April 2016 the price of each litre of petrol will set the excise tax in the amount of 7.19 rubles, or by 1.85 ruble more than it is now. These 1.85 ruble per liter and are those 5% growth from the current price of fuel, which says the Finance Ministry.

However, it is not so simple. Specificity of our market of oil products and pricing it such that the price of fuel at gas stations have little influence as world oil prices and changes in excise taxes. For example, the market saw very little growth of excise taxes that occurred January 1. On the contrary, the prices in January on average decreased: retail — 0.4%, producer prices by 10%.

The fact that almost all producers of fuel, and a significant part of the gas network combined with the extractors of oil in the system VIOC vertically integrated oil companies. Calculations between them occur in domestic prices, taking into account a lot of factors and their rate of return, and tax the share of the state, and the cost of production and transportation of oil, and the production cost of the fuel.

Under the influence of market competition and the declining purchasing power of consumers, companies have to restrain the growth of retail prices for redistributing the costs and profits within their holdings. Due to this redistribution is the ratio of producer prices of motor fuel and domestic oil prices in January 2016 has dropped to a value of 1.9 times compared to 2.2 times in January 2015 — this is the data of Rosstat.

Are any other manufacturers still have reserves for such reallocation? Let’s look at the figures of Rosstat for January 2016. The average retail price for gasoline AI-92 in Russia amounted to $ 33,86 rubles per liter. Average producer prices of gasoline AI-92 in Russia amounted 14,31 ruble. The difference is 19,55 rubles per liter. In them the share of the state excise tax now to 5.35 ruble per liter. And from 1 April will be of 7.19 ruble per liter. That is, the seller’s margin will decline to 12,36 ruble per liter. As you can see, there is much to aromatica. But this is only provided that the refineries will not raise selling prices. And they can do it and, most likely, will make.

The fact that in addition to the excise taxes on gasoline, the Finance Ministry has prepared two more unpleasant surprise for the industry. First, it is planned to increase the amount of tax on mineral extraction (met) by reducing the deduction of tax from 15 to 7.5 dollars per ton. Secondly, from 1 April it is planned to raise export duty on oil from 39.5 to 54.9 dollars per ton. What does it mean? The cost of oil production amounted in January 18,12 USD per barrel, the export duty from April will be 7,34 USD per barrel, the total will 27,22 dollars per barrel at world prices in the range of from 30 to 40 dollars.

Obviously the oilers at the slightest decrease in oil prices on world markets will be forced to compensate for the dwindling revenues, confining them to the domestic market. They will raise selling prices for oil for the refinery, they will raise selling prices for finished gasoline for refueling networks, and the result will see motorists in checks at a gas station.

Of course, you need to take into account the factor «election year» — we can assume that the authorities will use administrative resources in order to prevent a sharp rise in petrol prices. So do not expect price growth on fuel, as long as the producers remain internal reserves they contain, but these reserves are already running low. When they are exhausted, growth will begin. According to our estimates, increase in retail gasoline prices in 2016 may be at least 10%, i.e. twice more than till forecasts a the Ministry of Finance.

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