The State Economic and Trade Commission announced on its website that China would allow non-state-controlled firms to import about 27 per cent of its total petrol, diesel and other fuels in 2003. Currently, four stateowned companies control 79 per cent of imports of such fuels, or 14.7m tons. Nonstate firms will also be allowed to import up to 9.5m tons of crude oil in 2003, 15 per cent more than this year. Quotas for imports of oil products will be abolished in 2004, under China's WTO commitments.
China imported 40m tonnes of crude oil in the first seven months of 2002, customs figures revealed, up 5.2 per cent year-onyear. Exports fell 25 per cent to 3.5m tonnes.