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China to raise gasoline, diesel benchmark retail prices
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07:57, June 01, 2009

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China will raise gasoline and diesel benchmark retail prices by 400 yuan (58.6 U.S. dollars) per tonne as of Monday, the National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC) announced Sunday.

The benchmark retail price for gasoline would increase by 7 percent and the price of diesel by 8 percent, said a statement on the NDRC website.

It is the third oil price adjustment this year. On March 25, the NDRC, the country's top economic planner, lifted benchmark retail price of gasoline by 290 yuan per tonne and diesel by 180 yuan per tonne.

The increase was in response to the rising international crude prices under the country's the new fuel pricing mechanism, which took effect Jan. 1, according to the NDRC.

According to the new mechanism, China's domestic prices are to be "indirectly linked" to global crude prices "in a controlled manner." China would adjust domestic fuel prices when global crude prices reported a daily fluctuation band of more than 4 percent for 22 working days in a row.

NDRC pricing department official Xu Kuning has explained the "indirect link" as "based upon average global crude prices, while taking into account domestic production costs, taxation, and 'appropriate profits' of oil producers."

Crude prices have jumped 30 percent in May, the largest monthly rise since March 1999, boosted by expectations of a global economic recovery later this year.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery rose 1.23 dollars, or 1.9 percent, to settle at 66.31 dollars a barrel Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In Sunday's notice, the NDRC urged the two state-owned oil producers, PetroChina and Sinopec, to increase oil production to meet demand.

It also urged local pricing regulators to strengthen supervision over oil prices and crack down on any price violations.

Source: Xinhua


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