China’s top pricing regulator said it will introduce a more flexible method for pricing domestic fuel, with adjustments allowed if the international oil price fluctuates between $40 and $140 per barrel, according to the China Daily newspaper.
The pricing of liquefied petroleum gas will be solely market-based, according to a statement released by the National Development and Reform Commission on Wednesday.
Under the new pricing system, the commission has lowered domestic gasoline and diesel prices by 140 yuan ($21) and 135 yuan a barrel, respectively. These cuts are equivalent to a 0.1 yuan reduction for standard gasoline and 0.11 yuan for standard diesel, the newspaper reported.
The commission said that while China may not lower fuel prices further amid global falls – with oil plunging to a 12-year low of about $30 a barrel – the main concern is protecting the nation’s energy security and promoting the use of resource conservation and new-energy development to combat air pollution.
China will see complete market-based oil pricing by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan in 2020, the commision’s chief Xu Saoshi said in an article published in Study Times earlier this month.