Beijing: China, the world’s largest importer of oil, announced on Wednesday that it will subsidise its oil refiners and suspend the raising of domestic fuel prices if global oil prices surpass 130 USD a barrel.
The move will safeguard the stable supply of fuels, alleviate the burden on downstream enterprises and consumers, and lower the operating costs of the real economy, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an official notice released jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission as saying.
The policy will initially last for two months, while further notices will be issued if oil prices consistently exceed 130 USD, it said.
With worries over tight supplies, the oil prices rose to USD 119 a barrel on Wednesday.
The report said that under the current pricing mechanism, China will adjust the domestic prices of refined oil products when international crude prices translate into a change of more than 50 yuan (about USD 7.46) per tonne for gasoline and diesel for a period of 10 working days.
However, it will not do so if the international prices go below the floor of USD 40 or above the ceiling of 130 US dollars a barrel.
China was the largest importer of oil imported 513 Mt of crude oil in 2021, according to figures from the country’s General Administration of Customs.
Media reports in May said China’s crude oil imports from Russia had increased by 55 per cent from a year on year, as Beijing sought to take advantage of the discounted supplies from sanctions hit Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.