China cuts retail fuel prices


BEIJING, Dec. 28 -- China is to further cut the retail prices of gasoline and diesel starting Saturday, the country's top economic planner said Friday.

Based on changes in international oil prices, the retail prices of gasoline and diesel have been cut by 370 yuan (53.9 U.S. dollars) and 355 yuan per tonne, respectively, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Under the current pricing mechanism, if international crude oil prices change by more than 50 yuan per tonne and remain at that level for 10 working days, the prices of refined oil products such as gasoline and diesel in China will be adjusted accordingly.

This is the fifth consecutive cut in retail fuel prices.

During the last 10 working days, international crude prices fell sharply amid global economic growth uncertainties, signs of crude supply surplus and sharp declines in U.S. stock markets.

The NDRC's price monitoring center forecast that the international crude prices will remain weak in 2019 as the global economic recovery loses steam, thus denting oil demand. But price fluctuations may exacerbate with instability and uncertainty.

The NDRC has demanded that major oil companies, including China National Petroleum Corporation, China Petrochemical Corporation, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation, should work to ensure a stable supply and implement the pricing policy.

The economic planner said it would closely monitor the effects of the current pricing mechanism and make improvements in response to global fluctuations.

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