Car owners ask to halve excise taxes on gasoline and diesel

The National Automobile Union (NAS, unites manufacturers of auto components and car owners) asked the Ministry of Finance to temporarily reduce the excise tax on motor fuel. Vedomosti has a copy of the May 4 letter addressed to the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, and the sending was confirmed to us.

“I ask you to consider the possibility of reducing excise rates on gasoline and diesel fuel for the period from June 1 to December 31, 2022 inclusive by 50%, to 6,896 rubles. for 1 ton of gasoline and 4778 rubles. for 1 ton of diesel fuel,” writes NAS President Anton Shaparin. He proposes to cover the shortfall in federal budget revenues from excises “from other sources”, without specifying which ones. A reduction in excise tax, according to Shaparin, could “lower real fuel prices for consumers, encourage car owners to increase the number of trips, support tourist flows, reduce the cost of transport costs in the price of goods,” thereby stimulating economic growth and curbing inflation.

The issue of reducing excise taxes on fuel in the spring has already been raised at the level of the Russian government. According to the Secretary of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR) Oleg Sokolov, the trade unions came up with this idea back in March 2022 at a meeting of the Russian Tripartite Commission (RTC) for the regulation of social and labor relations, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova. “This proposal was also included in the resolution of the FNPR General Council, which is a guide for trade unions during negotiations within the RTK,” Sokolov added to Vedomosti. Specific parameters of reduction and terms, according to him, were not announced at that time. Vedomosti sent a request to a representative of Golikova.

In a letter from the Automobile Union to the Ministry of Finance, citing data from the Petromarket research group, it is said that in the first two decades of April, the average daily export of gasoline from the Russian Federation amounted to 10,600 tons, which is more than 20% lower than in March. Difficulties with the supply of Russian fuel to foreign markets arose after the restrictions imposed against the Russian Federation due to the military operation in Ukraine, which has been ongoing since February 24.

The NAS letter emphasizes that against the backdrop of a decrease in exports over the same period in April 2022, the average selling prices of Russian refineries for gasoline of the most popular grades AI-92 and AI-95 decreased by 10.3% and 8.5% compared to the end of March. “At the same time, there is no real price reduction for car owners: the cost of summer diesel fuel at gas stations in the period from April 14 to April 21 decreased by an average of 2 kopecks [за литр] after three weeks of growth, and retail gasoline prices hardly change,” Shaparin points out.

According to Rosstat, in March, a decrease in consumer (retail) prices for motor gasoline by 0.2% or more was observed in 32 subjects of the Russian Federation. Most noticeably, it fell in price in the Kirov region and Tuva – by 2% and 1.9%, respectively. In 11 regions it rose in price, most of all – in Adygea, by 2.1%. At the same time, manufacturers reduced gasoline prices in March compared to February by 15.7%, according to Rosstat data. As a result, consumer prices for gasoline in March on average in Russia exceeded producer prices by 2.7 times.

The cost of a ton of AI-92 on the SPIMEX exchange decreased from March 31 to May 5 from 43,670 to 40,000 rubles, AI-95 gasoline fell from 47,905 to 43,270 rubles, and summer diesel fuel rose from 53,175 to 55,439 rubles. , follows from the auction data.

In 2021, excises on petroleum products were credited at the rate of 25.1% to the federal budget, 74.9% to the budgets of the subjects. The press service of the Ministry of Finance did not explain to Vedomosti how they will be distributed this year and the amount of possible shortfall in income. The representative of the department only stated that the US proposal “will be considered in due course.”

According to Anna Lishnevetskaya, project manager at Petromarket, if demand for motor fuels in June-December 2022 remains at the same period in 2021, then shortfall in budget revenues from a 50% reduction in excises will amount to about 270 billion rubles. “Now the excise tax is 24-26% in the retail price of gasoline, depending on the brand, and 18% in the price of diesel fuel at gas stations. A halving of excise taxes can reduce the cost of fuel in retail, all other things being equal, by about 10%,” she added.

Vasily Tanurkov, director of the ACRA Corporate Ratings Group, gives similar estimates of fuel cost reduction at filling stations. At the same time, the expert adds that, most likely, a partial reduction in excises “will be transferred to an increase in retail margins” and the real price reduction for motorists will be less. “The profitability of filling stations is now very low, so a decrease in the wholesale price usually has little effect on retail,” he explains.

Vice-President of the Independent Fuel Union (combines small filling stations that are not owned by oil companies) Dmitry Gusev confirms that there will be no immediate drop in prices at gas stations following the reduction in excises. “In previous periods, with a sharp rise in wholesale prices, independent filling stations traded almost at zero or at a loss. Therefore, it is only possible to demand that they reduce the cost of gasoline and diesel in proportion to the fall in wholesale prices if the “inflation minus” principle is canceled (it provides for keeping prices at gas stations not higher than the official inflation level. – Vedomosti), he said. Gusev also recalled that road funds are replenished due to excise taxes on motor fuel, for which alternative sources of funds will have to be sought.

NAS also sent requests to support the initiative to reduce excise taxes on motor fuel to oil and gas companies – Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Rosneft, Tatneft and Surgutneftegaz (Vedomosti has the letters). These companies did not respond to Vedomosti’s inquiries.

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