The Russian government has temporarily lifted its ban on gasoline exports to prevent overstocking, according to local news agencies TASS and Interfax.

Russian fuel producers will be allowed to export gasoline during the six weeks between May 20 and June 30. However, restrictions remain in place for the peak summer travel season between July 1 and Aug. 31, according to TASS.

The ban was first introduced on March 1 for a period of six months. In January this year, Ukraine began a campaign of drone attacks on Russian refineries.

The Russian government explained in a Telegram message that it suspended the ban to prevent a decline in production at some oil refineries due to gasoline overstocking, and to free up volumes at export ports.

Russia doesn't export significant volumes of gasoline. However, the decision to lift the gasoline ban suggests that the country's domestic fuel production is withstanding Ukraine's drone attacks on oil refineries, which bodes well for exports of other refined products such as diesel and gasoil.

Russia's diesel exports fell significantly in April, but shipping analytics firm Vortexa warned this may simply reflect the usual spring maintenance season.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest monthly report that Russian refinery production had been higher than expected in March, with the impact of drone strikes limited to around 200,000 barrels/day during the second quarter.

"Quicker-than-expected restarts, including the 240,000 b/d Tuapse refinery in early May and the ability to use spare crude processing capacity, appear to have contributed to this less severe impact on crude throughputs," the agency said.

Russia's statistics agency Rosstat last reported gasoline and diesel production at 0.76 and 1.68 million mt, respectively, for the week ended May 12. This compares with 0.85 and 1.59 million mt in the second week of April; and 0.82 and 1.64 million mt in the second week of March.

This content was created by Oil Price Information Service, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. OPIS is run independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.

Reporting by Jaime Llinares Taboada,; Editing by Rob Sheridan,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-21-24 0822ET