China cut retail petrol prices by 4% Sunday, the first reduction in nearly 19 months, following a fall in international crude oil prices, the South China Morning Post reported. Although the reduction in petrol and jet fuel prices – of US$28.22 and US$11.55 per tonne respectively – was much smaller than expected, experts said it would push forward the introduction of a more market-oriented pricing system and the long-delayed fuel tax. The National Development and Reform Commission, which announced the price cuts, called on key refiners PetroChina and Sinopec to guarantee supplies and said authorities should strive to ensure the new prices are adhered to. Prior to the cuts, prices of refined oil products had been increased 12 times since 2003.
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