Russia – one of the world’s biggest oil producers – has faced shortages of fuel, which is crucial for harvesting, especially in southern regions, and the situation could worsen in the coming months.
Reuters writes about this with reference to sources in the market.
Traders say the fuel market has been hit by a combination of factors, including maintenance at refineries, infrastructure bottlenecks on the railways and a weak ruble that is driving fuel exports.
Russia has struggled in recent months to deal with shortages of diesel and gasoline, seeing export restrictions as a last-ditch effort to avert a severe fuel crisis that is sensitive to the Kremlin ahead of presidential elections in March.
The government’s decision to cut subsidies for oil refineries is likely to worsen the availability of fuel, the agency writes.
Regional oil depots in the southern regions of Russia were forced to reduce or even suspend fuel sales, while retail gas stations were forced to limit fuel sales to customers.
“A-92 gasoline is not available for retail sale in the Krasnodar region, Adygea and Astrakhan, there is almost no A-95 gasoline and diesel fuel,” said one of the traders in the south of Russia.
Another trader reported that diesel fuel is not sold at oil depots, and it is not available at retail markets for the second week in a row in the entire Samara region.
At the same time, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Novak said on Wednesday that there is no shortage of fuel.
But he also said the government was working on measures to ensure a stable supply of fuel to the domestic market, including increasing the level of mandatory sales on exchanges and limiting the number of exporters.