Crude oil futures traded higher on Friday morning following the Russia’s decision to restrict exports of gasoline and diesel to stabilise fuel prices in its domestic market.

At 9.54 a.m. on Friday, November Brent oil futures were at $93.87, up by 0.61 per cent, and November crude oil futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) were at $90.34, up by 0.79 per cent.

October crude oil futures were trading at ₹7,504 on Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) during initial trading against the previous close of ₹7,483, up by 0.28 per cent, and November futures were trading at ₹7,411 against the previous close of ₹7,396, up by 0.20 per cent.

‘Help saturate market’

Quoting a statement from the government, Russian news agency TASS said: “Russia has introduced temporary restrictions on the export of motor gasoline and diesel fuel. A decree to that effect was signed by the Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The decision is aimed to stabilise fuel prices on the domestic market.”

It said temporary restrictions will help saturate the fuel market, which in turn will reduce prices for consumers.

However, the above restriction does not apply to fuel supplied under inter-governmental agreements to members of the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union - Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

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Exchange prices for gasoline and diesel fuel have reached record levels in recent months in Russia.

Quoting a source, TASS reported that the Russian government is considering two options for stabilising fuel prices: Complete ban on the export of petroleum products for a certain period to fill up the market. Another option is to increase the export duty to $250 a tonne on petroleum products.

Quoting the First Deputy Energy Minister of Russia, Pavel Sorokin, it said a protective duty on fuel exports from Russia is considered as one of the possible measures to stabilise the market, but the issue of compensation for refineries in connection with it was not resolved.

Recently, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Alexander Novak, attributed the hike in wholesale fuel prices to an increase in prices for petroleum products in the global markets, as well as to depreciation of the ruble against the dollar.

Though the Federal Open Market Committee meeting of the US Federal Reserve had kept the interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, the Fed had signalled one more interest rate hike by the end of the year. It had created apprehensions in the market that such a rate hike could impact the economic growth and affect the demand for commodities such as crude oil.

On Thursday, the Bank of England also kept interest rates unchanged. However, it cautioned that it was not taking a recent fall in inflation for granted.

Agri commodities

September mentha oil futures were trading at ₹943 on MCX against the previous close of ₹936.40, up by 0.70 per cent.

On NCDEX, turmeric December futures dropped 2.76 per cent to ₹14,650 a quintal, while jeera (cumin) October contracts were down a tad at ₹60,300 a quintal.