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Chinese oil giants beef up diesel supply at authorities' demand

(Xinhua)

16:18, November 03, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- China's two oil giants have announced measures to increase diesel supply to ease shortages in many parts of the country at the demand of government authorities, local media reported Thursday.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) talked with two state-owned oil companies last week, ordering them to beef up diesel distribution to areas in urgent need and with inadequate reserves, the Beijing News reported.

China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), were told to guarantee supply for agricultural production during the autumn harvest season, the newspaper said.

Many regions in China have seen tight diesel supply since September as a result of rising seasonal demand.

The strain was worsened as refineries reduced output for fear of losses after the government announced price cuts on retail gasoline and diesel in early October in line with falling global crude oil prices.

Nearly half of China's private gas stations do not have guaranteed fuel supplies, according to a recent survey by the oil distribution commission of the China General Chamber of Commerce.

Currently, tight diesel supply mainly exists in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and other southern regions since the harvest in the north has finished, the newspaper quoted analysts as saying.

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