(Bloomberg) -- Russia temporarily lifted its ban on gasoline exports to avoid overstocking at refineries as domestic supplies have met demand.

Refiners are allowed to export gasoline from May 20 until June 30, according to a government decree, signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on May 17 and published on Monday. 

The decision was made taking into account “the saturation of the domestic market” and “to prevent a drop in oil processing volumes at individual refineries due to overstocking of gasoline,” according to the statement.

Russia restricted gasoline shipments to foreign markets from March 1 for six months to avoid domestic fuel shortages and price spikes amid President Vladimir Putin’s campaign for a fifth term. At that time, Ukraine’s drone attacks on Russian refineries and scheduled spring maintenance threatened to reduce gasoline production, just as domestic demand experienced a seasonal uptick. 

However, a shortage was avoided as Russia’s refineries utilized their spare crude-processing capacity and relatively quickly restored operations at some damaged units, maintaining gasoline production.

Russia’s fuel market is stable and “our economy, companies and people are fully provided with oil products,” Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told lawmakers last week. “It’s important to prevent overstocking at refineries.”

In February, just before the ban, Russia sold abroad about 141,000 barrels a day of gasoline, or almost 14% of its total production of the fuel, according to industry data seen by Bloomberg. Around half of Russian gasoline exports go to nations under intergovernmental agreements, including to countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, that are excluded from the ban. 

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