BEIJING — China’s top economic planner announced on Oct 19 it will raise the retail price of gasoline by 355 yuan ($52.73) per tonne and that of diesel by 340 yuan.
This is the seventh price hike since the beginning of this year, and also the biggest increase, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The adjustment, effective on Oct 20, means retail prices will rise by about 0.26 yuan per liter for gas and 0.29 yuan per liter for diesel, according to the NDRC.
The price increase was largely attributed to production cuts from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), according to a NDRC report.
The NDRC urged “China’s Big Three”, — China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec) and China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) — to appropriately organize production and allocation in a bid to keep the market stable.
China has a pricing regime which adjusts domestic fuel prices when international crude prices change by more than 50 yuan per tonne during a time span of 10 working days.
China’s crude oil output fell 9.9 percent year on year in August, the biggest monthly drop since 2003, latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
Imports, on the other hand, have trended upward after private refineries were given permission to import crude last year.
In the first eight months, China’s crude oil imports rose 13.5 percent compared with the same period last year, while refined oil output gained 2.1 percent.
This year the NDRC has cut retail fuel prices four times and raised them six times before the price hike this time.