Gasoline production fell by 12% in the last week of March.

Gasoline production fell by 12% in the last week of March.

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Russian oil refiners reduced gasoline production in the last week of March by 12% compared to the February average, according to Rosstat data. The decrease in fuel production is due to damage to refinery installations due to drone attacks. It is expected that most of the damaged installations will return to service during April-May. The domestic market has not yet noticed a shortage of gasoline due to the consumption of reserves, as well as a sharp increase in imports from Belarus.

Gasoline production in the Russian Federation in the last week of March amounted to 110.7 thousand tons per day, decreasing by 12% compared to the average daily figure in February, according to Rosstat data. Diesel fuel production decreased by 3.5%, to 231 thousand tons per day.

Russian refineries have reduced gasoline output mainly due to damage to primary processing units due to attacks by Ukrainian drones. As a result of the attacks, installations at the Ryazan Oil Refinery (AT-6 and AVT-4), Kuibyshev Oil Refinery (AVT-4 and AVT-5), Syzran Oil Refinery (AVT-6), and Nizhny Novgorod Oil Refinery (AVT-6) were shut down.

Gasoline production may begin to recover in April as damaged units are brought back online. AVT-4 has already been restarted at the Ryazan Oil Refinery. The launch of AVT-6, according to industry data, was expected on April 3, but Kommersant has not yet been able to obtain confirmation that the installation is working. At the Kuibyshev Refinery, according to Kommersant’s interlocutors, both primary processing units can be commissioned approximately on May 8. AVT-6 of the Syzran Refinery may require the longest repair; the expected commissioning date is June 14. At the same time, the plant, according to Kommersant, is trying to organize the operation of the second AVT-5 unit, which has been idle since the summer of 2023. The commissioning of the AVT-6 unit at the Nizhny Novgorod Oil Refinery was planned for the end of March, but so far Kommersant’s interlocutors cannot say when it will be commissioned.

At the beginning of April, a technological breakdown occurred at the Astrakhan gas processing plant, but the plant plans to resume gasoline production on April 4.

“We plan to take a number of refineries out of repairs in April-May, maybe until the beginning of June. All facilities that were damaged will be brought back into service,” said the head of the Ministry of Energy, Nikolai Shulginov, on April 3. Deputy Prime Minister for the Fuel and Energy Complex Alexander Novak said on April 3 that oil companies were tasked with loading operational refineries and increasing gasoline production “to eliminate possible risks associated with the market.”

As Kommersant noted on March 25, despite the decrease in gasoline production, Russian oil companies increased its supplies to the domestic market using accumulated reserves. As a result, after a sharp rise in wholesale prices in mid-March, last week gasoline fell in price on the St. Petersburg International Exchange. However, this week the price increase resumed, including due to the psychological effect of the drone attack on the Nizhnekamsk refinery on April 2 (the plant itself was not damaged). Thus, on April 3, AI-95 gasoline in the European part of the Russian Federation rose in price on the stock exchange by 1.5%, to 65.4 thousand rubles. per ton. Kommersant’s interlocutors believe that the price decline at the end of March was due to an improvement in the situation on the railway, as “petroleum products began to travel better.” In addition, the head of the Energy Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Pavel Zavalny, announced on March 28 that Belarus is ready to supply 100-150 thousand tons of gasoline per month to the Russian Federation to prevent fuel shortages. Although the Russian budget has been paying a damper on Belarusian oil products supplied to Russia since 2023, this remained an insufficient incentive for Belarusian refineries, since export supplies were more profitable.

Imports of gasoline from Belarus to Russia at the level of 100–150 thousand tons are a noticeable value, Petromarket notes; supplies were at this level in 2013–2014. In 2021–2023, imports were at zero level. The reason for stopping supplies is their unprofitability for the Belarusian side, according to Petromarket. But the current situation on the market, due to the departure of a number of Russian refineries for repairs, creates the prerequisites for the level of wholesale gasoline prices in Russia for Belarusian refineries to be quite comfortable, analysts conclude.

Dmitry Kozlov

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