China to resist raising refined oil prices amid inflationary pressure

Updated: 2008-03-05 15:15

BEIJING - The Chinese government has asked its refined oil sellers not to raise prices amid global oil price rises, in a bid to curb rising inflation pressure.

Refined oil sellers across the country should follow the state-regulated prices. Arbitrary price rises are not allowed, according to a joint statement issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.

The global crude prices hit a new high of US$103.95 per barrel during Monday's trade session. Domestic diesel prices showed signs of edging up amid the global price rises.

The price of crude oil in China is set by the global market, but the refined price is still regulated by the government.

Policy makers are working to determine when to close the gap between the comparatively lower prices of refined oil products in China and the record-setting global price.

Timing is not good because China is already in a high-inflation circle, said an NDRC spokesman last month, adding fighting inflation is a priority for this year.

The authorities also tightened standards on the opening of gas stations, urging local authorities to prudently assess the application in line with technical standards and regional development plan.

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