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Gas prices likely to be cut on Friday


08:23, November 07, 2012

CHINA may cut prices for refined oil products on Friday amid global oil price drops and lackluster performances by the country's oil refiners, analysts say.

Forecasts showed that the moving weighted average price of Brent, Dubai and Cinta crude is expected to fall by 4 percent or more on Friday, creating a window for China to adjust its domestic oil prices.

The drop would mark the fourth time this year for the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, to cut fuel prices.

The NDRC may reduce retail prices for both gasoline and diesel by 300 yuan (US$48) per ton, analysts say.

The move would likely be a response to falling oil prices on international markets, a trend that analysts predict will continue in the short-term.

US crude prices tumbled nearly 3 percent last Friday after the US government took measures to deal with a fuel shortage caused by superstorm Sandy.

China's domestic oil market has also suffered from weak demand this year.

State-run oil giants Sinopec and PetroChina completed only 40 to 60 percent of their annual sales targets by the end of the third quarter, according to data from SCI, a leading commodities observer.

The expected adjustment may help bring down the consumer price index, a major gauge of inflation, by 0.007 percent, creating room to boost consumption and sales for domestic refiners.

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