China will cut the retail prices of gasoline and diesel starting Saturday, the largest drop in nearly four years, the country's top economic planner said Friday.
Based on changes in international oil prices, the retail prices of gasoline and diesel will be cut by 510 yuan (about 73.5 U.S. dollars) and 490 yuan per tonne, respectively, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Under the current pricing mechanism, if international crude oil prices change by more than 50 yuan per tonne and remain at that level for 10 working days, the prices of refined oil products such as gasoline and diesel in China will be adjusted accordingly.
International oil prices have fallen due to factors including increased production from Saudi Arabia, higher than expected growth of U.S. stockpile, eased U.S. sanctions against Iran, and expectations of falling demand, according to the NDRC price monitoring center.
The NDRC has asked major Chinese oil companies, including China National Petroleum, China Petrochemical and China National Offshore Oil, to ensure a stable supply and implement the pricing policy.
The economic planner said it would closely monitor the effects of the current pricing mechanism and make improvements in response to global fluctuations.