MOSCOW, August 22 (Itar-Tass) - Russia's Energy Ministry says no reasons exist for domestic petrol price increases. Energy Minister Alexander Novak told major oil company delegates at a conference on the petroleum products market that fuel supply had improved and price dynamics had stabilized.
"Retail prices have grown by a mere 3% to 4% since the beginning of this year, which is in line with inflation. In July, prices increased on the wholesale market in a seasonal fluctuation. A similar increase occurred in 2012," Novak said.
Thanks to recent measures taken by the energy ministry, wholesale prices of AI-92 (92 RON) petrol fell 5.5% in the last week and AI-95 (95 RON) dropped 6.5%, the minister said.
Oil company fuel stocks had increased from 1.24 million to 1.48 million tons. Companies had cut petroleum product exports from 210,000 tons to 50,000 tons a month, replenishing domestic reserves of fuel and lubricants.
Speculative growth of prices was therefore neutralized, he said, adding that "we don't see reasons for market price hikes."
Meanwhile, wholesale petrol prices in Russia's flood-stricken Far East have increased to 34,672 rubles since Monday, according to the St. Petersburg international commodity exchange.
Prices of Achinsk refinery AI-92 (92 RON) petrol have gone up by 1,500 rubles per ton since August 12, and its wholesale price of AI-95 (95 RON) petrol has increased by 343 rubles to 37,160 rubles per ton. The Angarsk refinery’s AI-92 (92 RON) price has grown by 150 rubles to 33,450 rubles per ton.
Market participants blamed the region's flooding for higher prices there, where Rosneft is the largest fuel supplier. The region's Khabarovsk refinery belongs to the Alyans oil company, with a capacity of 4.35 million tons. Rosneft-owned Komsomolsk refinery has a capacity of eight million tons.