Consumers may see prices drop at pumps


CHINESE consumers may pay cheaper gasoline and diesel prices at pumps as soon as this week due to a drop in international oil prices, analysts said.

There are rising hopes for retail prices to fall after Brent crude, one of the domestic oil price indicators, went under US$100 per barrel last Friday to a 16-month low on a grim global economic outlook and easing tensions in Iran.

Analysts said gasoline and diesel prices could be cut as early as on June 8, 22 days after the last reduction, as an index tracking prices of Brent, Cinta and Dubai crudes has already fallen 6 percent since China lowered fuel prices on May 10 for first time in over 6 months.

Han Jingyuan, an analyst with JYD Online Co, a commodity trading e-commerce platform, told Xinhua that if the price is cut, gasoline will drop by 0.47 yuan and diesel by 0.55 yuan a liter, more than twice the cut in May.

The cut in May has lowered 93-octane gasoline price at Shanghai pumps from 8.27 yuan to 8.01 yuan a liter, and zero-grade diesel down from 8.19 yuan to 7.92 yuan a liter.

Introduced in 2009, China's fuel pricing mechanism allowed the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planning body, to adjust fuel prices when the moving average of the basket of international crudes changes above 4 percent over 22 working days.

Figures provided by JYD showed that wholesale fuel prices have been going down since last week as oil traders started to reduce their inventory.

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