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Russia Hikes Crude Export Tax, While Oil Output is Falling

Russia's oil production, which fell to an 18-month low in April, may decline this year

Russia is likely to increase its crude export tax by 17 percent to a record on June 1, reacting to the rising oil prices.

The tax will be set at $398.10 a metric ton, Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the Finance Ministry's customs department, said by telephone in Moscow.

The current duty is $340.10 a ton, or 46.40 dollars a barrel.

Russia revises its export taxes on crude and oil products every two months based on the previous two-month average price for Urals, the country's benchmark export blend. That stood at a record 102.76 dollars a barrel in the period, Sakovich said.

Russia's oil production, which fell to an 18-month low of 9.72 million barrels a day in April, may decline this year for the first time in a decade as producers struggle with high costs.