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China Raises Refined Oil Product Prices
Sunday March 26, 3:01 am ET
China Raises Prices for Refined Oil Products, Offers Subsidies to Disadvantaged Sectors
BEIJING (AP) -- China is raising the prices for refined oil products beginning Sunday, the country's top economic planning agency said, a move that would help offset losses by the country's refineries.
The National Development and Reform Council said factory prices of gasoline will increase by 300 yuan ($37) per ton, and diesel factory prices will rise by 200 yuan ($25) per ton.
Retail prices are also set to increase, but by a smaller margin, the agency said in a statement posted on its Web site.
Gasoline retail prices will rise 250 yuan ($31) per ton, and diesel will rise by 150 yuan ($19) per ton. It did not give the original prices.
The government had reportedly been considering gradual reforms of price controls on refined oil products after coming under pressure from producers. The country's oil refiners, squeezed by high international crude-oil prices and price controls at home, reported losses totaling 30 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) in 2005.
Those losses contrasted sharply with a 20.8 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) profit for 2004, according to figures released earlier by the NDRC.
The new rates were being implemented "to ease the serious difference between the purchase price of crude oil and the selling price of domestic refined oil," the statement said.
Sectors particularly sensitive to the price hikes, including agriculture, fisheries and taxis will receive support to lessen the impact, the agency said Sunday.
The NDRC has repeatedly said it will further reform the pricing system for natural resources, including prices of electricity, oil, natural gas, and coal, to allow them to reflect global price changes.