Oil price hike likely in October

By Shangguan Zhoudong (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2007-07-09 15:09

China's top oil refiners are considering a price hike of refined oil due to higher international oil prices, and the price of refined oil in China may rise in October this year, insiders said, the China Business reported.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, one of China's leading oil refiners, has submitted the price adjustment plans to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) for approval, an insider from the oil producer said.

The producers suggested the NDRC should raise the gasoline price by more than 220 yuan per ton and diesel prices by roughly 150 yuan per ton.

Another insider said that the State Council, the cabinet, has authorized the Ministry of Finance to impose a fuel tax, the launch of which had as its aim bringing China's fuel price more in line with international market, so a fuel price hike will be inevitable in October.

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Imports of oil will rise by 10m tons

Han Xiaoping, chief executive officer of China5e.com, a specialized energy website, said that China's economic development is closely and inseparably related to crude oil prices, and if the global oil price continues to skyrocket, the NDRC will undoubtedly regulate the price.

The NDRC will issue a notice about the price hike this month at the soonest, according to an unnamed official with the NDRC's pricing department.

But the NDRC will be more scrupulous about ordering the price hike because the nation's economy is tending towards overheating, making the price hike more sensitive, according to Shan Weiguo, a researcher with CNPC Research Institute of Economics and Technology.

The soaring global price of oil is putting pressure on China's consumption and production.

A source with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) said that the refiner would suffer more than US$10 in losses for refining a barrel of imported crude oil.

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)