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Oil plunge halts China price stability mechanism

(ATF) China will keep domestic gasoline and diesel prices unchanged after global crude oil prices suffered their worst plunge since the coronavirus crisis pushed them to below zero.

West Texas Intermediate fell more than 8% Thursday to around $38 a barrel. That meant prices had remained below $40 for more than 10 days, a level at which China’s petrol price stability mechanism kicks in, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

Under the current pricing mechanism, China will adjust domestic prices of refined oil products when international crude prices translate into a change of more than 50 yuan ($7.08) per tonne for gasoline and diesel for a period of 10 working days. The mechanism will also cut out if prices climb to more than $130.

China slashed prices of gasoline and diesel to a level equal to $40 a barrel on March 17 amid the global oil price collapse. 

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