During a briefing on restrictive measures on the domestic gasoline and diesel fuel market, acting minister of energy Bolat Akchulakov outlined the authorities' earlier efforts and current plans to prevent fuel shortages.
As one of the previous measures introduced by the ministry, Kazakhstan banned the export of fuel and lubricants by rail and road, and passed legislation obliging resource holders to sell fuel and lubricants directly to refueling stations. In addition, unproductive intermediaries in the oil and petroleum products supply were eliminated. Differentiated tariffs were introduced depending on the place of residence and the volume of refueling.
However, the shadow market has found loopholes to circumvent these restrictive measures, and the price disparity between Kazakhstan and neighboring countries causes gasoline, oil, and lubricants to flow out of the country.
"The preservation of price disparity creates a shadow market system and harms the national interests," said Akchulakov.
The minister further noted that low prices hinder the attraction of investment and development of the oil and gas sector.
In this situation, the energy ministry considers it necessary to reduce the difference in prices for fuels and lubricants between Kazakhstan and neighboring countries by raising marginal retail prices.
The price of gasoline AI-92 and AI-93 should be increased from ₸182-187 to ₸205 ($0.45 as of April 4) per liter – an 11% increase. It is also proposed to raise diesel fuel prices by an average of 20%, from ₸230-260 to ₸295 ($0.65) per liter.