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Russia will raise oil export duty to a record $398.1
Russia will raise oil export duty to a record $398.1 per metric ton from June 1, 2008, a senior Finance Ministry official said on Sunday.

"The average [crude] price was $102.8 per barrel for the March-April monitoring period, which puts the maximum duty rate at $398.1 per metric ton. Therefore we will reach a record export duty on Russian oil that will be fixed at $398.1 per metric ton from June 1," said Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the ministry's customs payment department.

He said export duties on light oil products would rise to $280.5 per metric ton from June 1, 2008, from the current $241.4 per metric ton, and duty on heavy petroleum products would grow to $151.1 per metric ton from $130.1.

The Finance Ministry earlier predicted that oil export duty would go up to $395-400 per metric ton.

The Russian government adjusts export duty on crude and petroleum products every two months, depending on changes in the Urals blend price on world markets.

The average price of Russia's benchmark Urals crude blend was $93.36 per barrel in the first quarter of 2008, up $39.12, year-on-year. The Urals average price in March 2008 was $99.78 per barrel, compared to $58.86 per barrel in the same month last year.

On March 24, Russia's economics ministry raised its 2008 forecast for the annual average price of Urals by 16% to $86 per barrel.


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