http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/05/19/business/AS-FIN-Kazakhstan-Fuel-Ban.php ALMATY, Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan on Monday banned the export of all refined oil products, news agencies reported, as the energy-rich Central Asian nation grapples with soaring fuel costs. The announcement, made by Prime Minister Karim Masimov at a government meeting, comes just days after opposition parties called on his government to resign amid what they call a worsening economic climate. Kazakhstan has huge oil and gas resources, but soaring prices for consumer products like diesel and other fuel are having a knock-on effect on the country's agricultural sector. The increase in the cost of diesel and gasoline have outstripped the rate of inflation in recent months. Inflation already looks set to hit last year's rate of 18 percent. Industry insiders insist rising fuel costs are caused by foreign demand, but the head of Kazakhstan anti-monoply body said Monday he believed there have been instances of price-fixing for some forms of fuel. "We need to study the cost of producing oil and the cost of its transportation to refineries," Nurlan Aldabergenov was quoted as saying by the Kazakhstan Today news agency. Soaring costs for basic food staples are causing widespread discontent among Kazakhstan' relatively poor population. The government earlier this year banned all wheat exports until September in an effort to tamp costs for the commodity.