In our assessments, as it turned out, we were not far from the truth. At the end of spring, some “hotheads” predicted a sharp, up to 20% jump in prices, but, fortunately, this did not happen.
FURNITURE AROUND THE CROPS
In many ways, the state prevented it by introducing high duties on the export of crude oil.
“High duties now compel us to seek sales within Russia,” says Leonid Fedun, LUKoil vice president. - At the same time, our company will no longer artificially restrain prices at its gas stations. Just start moving with the market.
This recognition is evidence that the gasoline business in Russia can already be seen as completely civilized. There was a balance of supply and demand. And further, if nothing extraordinary happens, gas prices will rise by an average of 1% per month, which in terms of pace coincides with global trends.
What, then, is the cause of spring gasoline fever? The excitement was arranged first of all … by politicians. So, in the midst of the sowing season, the governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Alexander Khloponin said that rising gas prices are worse than monetization:
“Before the start of the sowing campaign in the Siberian regions, prices for oil products increased by 40%, but the subjects of the federation have no leverage to influence this situation,” the governor said, “excess profits in the form of duties and excise taxes on fuel sales at inflated prices remain at the federal level. Regions do not have anything from this … True,”he added, “we will go through the sowing campaign without failures.”
This and similar statements have nothing to do with the actual prices at gas stations. Translated from a political language into a regular language, this is an acute desire of regional officials to fix the price of fuel for agricultural work or to receive subsidies from the treasury for this purpose. Regardless of the reaction of the federal authorities, such “initiatives” are capable of rocking the gasoline market - a mechanism, I must say, very sensitive.
Fortunately, this year he withstood the next attack. If she succeeded, we in Russia would get a situation similar to the one in Ukraine. There, the “orange” prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko accused Russian fuel companies of conspiring against the “independence”, and then introduced fixed gas prices. The result - fuel at Ukrainian gas stations immediately disappeared, and for the first time in many years, queues arose at gas stations.
After several rounds of negotiations, the Ukrainian government apologized to the oil workers, prices were released (then, however, they rose, but only a little - by the ruble, translated into Russian money). The conflict was settled, gas from our neighbors everywhere again - to get to the Crimea this summer without problems. But, as they say in one joke, "the sediment remained" and expressed itself in the fact that Ukraine at the EU summit was not recognized as a country with a market economy. Investment ratings collapsed, the country was left without the long-awaited western injections.
CHEAPER OR BETTER?
- What do we care about politics, crops and investments! - the other reader will angrily notice. - I need to refuel my Zhigul cheaper to transport planks to the country house, and potatoes from the country house. Oil workers are fattening, the state is inactive, and we … How long!
Fairly, in general. The state does not formally care about the concerns of the ordinary consumer of AI-92 gasoline. If only because today it acts as a player in the gasoline market, and not as a controller. The high excise taxes imposed on him by fuel are one of the reasons that our retail prices have surpassed American ones. At the same time, the quality of gasoline is in a very strange connection with the price: the lower it is, the lower the excise tax. For example, for brand 80 gasoline, you must pay 2657 rubles to the treasury. per ton, for the 92nd and above - already 3629 rubles. If translated into liters, then the excise tax in a liter of AI-92 reaches 2.6–2.7 rubles. (about 17% of the cost). It turns out that the government is pushing dishonest dealers: let's guys “put on weight” - today it’s profitable … The Ministry of Economic Development seems to want to change this order of things: they suggest lowering excise rates for high-quality fuels. This, according to the ministry’s calculations, will lower prices for high-octane gasoline and will enable plants to invest more in reconstruction and upgrade facilities. What they desperately need.
OIL LOTS, GASOLINE DOESN'T ENOUGH
Russia is a country of paradoxes. With billions of barrels of oil, we regularly lack gasoline. Our refining can provide only 70% of the required amount of AI-92, and experts estimate the shortage of AI-95 at a million tons per year. In general, today in Russia incomparably less gasoline is produced from crude oil than, say, in the USA. 150 tons of gasoline are obtained from a ton of oil in the Russian Federation, and 430-450 liters there … Need comments?
“When they talk about the price of gasoline, they mention only one aspect of its price - oil,” says Dmitry Dolgov, the head of the LUKoil press service, “but no one is buying gasoline directly from the pipe.” The price of gasoline is also affected by the cost of construction, reconstruction and maintenance of gas stations. And this is a considerable amount.
We talk with him on the Leningradskoye Shosse, near the brand new LUKoila station. The word "gas station" in "LUKoil" is now banned. Since this year, the company has introduced new standards for its gas stations. Incidentally, there must necessarily be a store with a solid selection of goods, a bar, a stand with fresh newspapers, and even a stand for CDs.
Nonsense all this! - someone will say. But you can’t argue with the numbers. After the reconstruction of this gas station in accordance with the new concept, the sale of gasoline increased 1.6 times, and related products - doubled. It turns out that the Russian driver is ready for civilization - just give it!