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Gasoline and diesel prices reduced from Friday

By Lan Lan (China Daily)

09:29, November 16, 2012

Gasoline and diesel prices are cut for the fourth time this year from Friday to better reflect global oil prices, and experts predicted demand for diesel will pick up in the fourth quarter, fueled by the rebounding economy.

The National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning agency, announced the price reductions on Thursday, a day later than expected, as crude prices dropped close to the price adjustment threshold on Wednesday.

The price changes came after the country announced its newly elected top leadership.

Starting from Friday morning, retail gasoline prices are falling by 310 yuan ($49.7) a metric ton, or 0.22 yuan a liter, to be capped at 8,930 yuan per ton. Diesel dropped by 300 yuan a ton, or 0.26 yuan a liter, to 8,120 yuan per ton.

Affected by the sluggish economy, diesel fuel demand has been weak over the past few months, but is now expected to pick up quickly in the fourth quarter, said Niu Li, a senior economist with the State Information Center, a government think tank.

China's economic growth in the third quarter reached its lowest point in three years, but recent figures have suggested the economy could have bottomed out.

Those for railway investment, for example, showed negative 1.4 percent growth year-on-year in the first 10 months - but that was against a negative 41.8 percent performance in the first three months, indicating much higher demand for diesel fuel, mainly used in transportation and industrial production.

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