The Chinese State Bureau of Grain and Material Reserves announced that it will sell oil from its state petroleum reserves for the first time, as Beijing increases efforts to control inflationary pressures stemming from commodity markets, reports the Financial Times. China is the world’s biggest importer of crude oil, having overtaken the US over the last decade.
The Bureau said that it would release batches of oil for sale to domestic refining and chemicals companies to “alleviate the pressure of rising raw material prices,” but the reserves administration did not specify how much oil it will sell.
“Putting national reserve crude oil on the market through open auction sales will better stabilize domestic market supply and demand and effectively guarantee national energy security,” it said.
While other large oil importers like the US have periodically tapped their national reserves during supply disruptions or to meet budgetary needs, it is the first time China has publicly announced its intention draw on its stocks.