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Russian oil in roubles hits lowest since Nov 2020, below budget target

FILE PHOTO: Employees of an oil platform in the Baltic Sea take part in the early voting for the parliamentary election

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The price of Russia's flagship Urals oil in roubles has hit its lowest level since November 2020, Reuters calculations showed on Friday, trading around a third lower than the government had assumed in its 2023 budget.

The government last year ran a budget deficit of around 3.3 trillion roubles ($48.7 billion), or 2.3% of gross domestic product.

The average price of Urals has fallen to 3,233 roubles per barrel in January. That is 32.5% below 4,788 roubles per barrel, or $70.1 per barrel, the price used when Russia's 2023 budget was compiled.

The oil price in roubles is important for the budget and the setting of both the mineral extraction tax and Russia's oil export duty.

The rouble has strengthen this month after a fall in December and received support earlier this week when the central bank said it would start selling foreign currency on forex markets.

($1 = 67.8500 roubles)

(Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jason Neely)