Petrol prices in Russia: historical chart

(January 12, 2017)

Over ten years of gasoline price data from Russia show a steady upward trend, largely unaffected by crude oil prices or the dollar-ruble exchange rate. The only period with faster growth in fuel prices was experienced in 2008 when crude oil prices spiked above 130 USD per barrel. However, even then retail gasoline prices in Russia went up moderately from about 20 rubles per liter to about 25 rubles per liter. Similarly, gasoline prices did not rise sharply during the next rapid growth in crude oil prices in 2010.

We observe the same stickiness in fuel prices on the way down as well. The sharp drop in oil prices in 2014 did not bring relief at the pump. Granted, the ruble also depreciated during that time so that the effect of cheaper oil and more expensive dollar on fuel prices worked in opposite directions. However, it is unlikely that these two opposing forced would cancel each other so precisely as to leave the long-term path of fuel prices unchanged. Hence, it seems clear from the chart that gasoline prices in Russia, while not officially regulated, are also not left to market forces.

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