BEIJING: It has been announced by the powerful economic planning agency that due to a drop in oil prices, China has decided to cut retail prices for gasoline by 180 Yuan ($29) per ton and for diesel 230 Yuan ($37) per ton.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which can adjust the price ceilings on a bi-weekly basis, posted the statement on its website shortly after the Ministry of Finance said it would raise consumption taxes on oil products such as gasoline and diesel for the third time in six weeks.
The tax increase reduced the size of the price cuts, which would otherwise have been 395 Yuan ($64) for gasoline and 380 Yuan ($61) for diesel, the NDRC said in a separate statement on its website.
Last month, authorities opted for a similar arrangement, raising taxes in concert with a cut in retail prices.
The tax increases will have a mild impact on fuel consumption as Beijing takes advantage of low oil prices to push ahead with energy price reforms, industry analysts said.
Chinese crude imports are seen to have risen to record levels in December. Chinese customs will release official data on Jan. 13. Crude prices have fallen roughly 55 percent since June 2013.