The country's largest oil producer, China National Petroleum (CNPC), and Asia's top refiner, China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec), have hiked gasoline prices at their outlets nationwide.
At the gas pumps in Shenzhen, for example, the price of No. 90 gasoline is now 3.74 yuan (45 US cents) per liter, up from 2.85 yuan (34 US cents) in December last year. No. 97 is going for 4.34 yuan (52 US cents) per liter, jumping from 3.35 yuan (40 US cents) per liter at the end of last year.
The price increase was made in line the National Development and Reform Commission's (NDRC's) decision to raise its retail benchmark rate for gasoline by about 7 percent. Diesel fuel prices remain unchanged.
The Xinhua News Agency reports that the ex-refinery rate for gasoline has been raised by 300 yuan (US$45.78) per ton effective Tuesday. The new rate for gasoline is 4,609 yuan (US$556.88) per metric tonne.
China has raised gasoline retail prices five times since the end of 2003.
(Shenzhen Daily, China Daily March 23, 2005)