(Yicai Global) Oct. 27 -- Many filling stations in China are restricting the amount of fuel that people can buy as they face running at a loss while wholesale crude oil prices outstrip retail prices set by the government, the Securities Times reported.
Filling stations in southeastern Fujian province are only letting people buy CNY200 (USD31) of diesel at a time, a truck driver surnamed Zhang said. This is around 25 liters yet the fuel tanks of medium-sized trucks can be as big as 1,000 liters, he said.
“Diesel is not in short supply, as far as I know,” said Zhou Kewen, vice chairman of the China Road Transport Association’s road freight arm. But gas stations are limiting sales of diesel as they’ll lose money if they sell more, he added. Retail prices, which are capped by the government, are now lower than the wholesale cost of the product.
In the past month, the price of 92-octane gasoline has jumped 17.1 percent to CNY9,062 (USD1,419.37) per ton and that of diesel has surged 19.1 percent to CNY8,135.4 per ton, as a global energy supply crunch and growing demand push up prices.
As the country also battles power cuts due to the surging price of coal, some companies are using diesel to generate electricity, aggravating supply issues, the report said. If a real diesel shortage occurs, it will have a huge impact on the country’s logistics industry and national economy and the government will have to take action, Zhou said.
Oil prices are likely to stay high, or rise further, as demand increases in the cold winter months, according to GF Futures.
Editor: Kim Taylor