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China raises fuel cost by 4%

2009-09-03 09:09 BJT

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China has raised the cost of gasoline and diesel by four percent per ton. And the top economic planner says this won't be anymore of a burden for car owners.

It is the sixth fuel price adjustment since China adopted a new fuel pricing mechanism on Jan. 1.

This time, the National Development and Reform Commission has raised the price of gasoline and diesel by 300 yuan, or 4 percent. That means the retail price of gasoline will increase by 0.22 yuan a liter, and diesel by 0.26 yuan per liter.

The NDRC said the price hike is in accordance with international price changes. International crude oil prices have gone up more than four percent since late July. Under the new mechanism, China's fuel prices would change if the cost of global crude moves up or down by more than 4 percent in 22 working days.

But considering the market conditions and the fact that the economy is on the road to recovery, the government decided to keep the price at a "moderate" rate.

An NDRC official said the price hike doesn't mean a heavier burden for car owners.

Xu Kunlin, deouty head of Pricing Department of NDRC, said, "The burden on car owners won't exceed last year's levels. The current fuel price incorporates road tolls, which were charged separately before. So the overall money they have to pay is less than last year."

Vehicle owners in Beijing now need to pay 770 yuan per month to refuel their cars. But a year ago, fuel plus road tolls cost 100 yuan more.

Experts say although the price change comes a little later than expected, the new adjustment mechanism is working as it should. As the market-oriented mechanism improves, such adjustments will be timed more regularly.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: