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Moves to Ensure Fuel Supplies Urged

The Ministry of Commerce has urged local commerce bureaus to set up and improve early warning systems for oil supplies even as filling stations across the country experience fuel shortages.

The latest move is part of efforts to stabilize domestic oil supplies and improve emergency measures to tackle any shortage.

The commerce bureaus should also urge local refineries to increase and rationally distribute fuel supplies, the ministry said in a notice over the weekend.

At the same time, the ministry called on China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), the nation's two largest oil producers, to go all out to ensure fuel supplies.

Experts have said that the government should reform the oil pricing mechanism to reflect international levels and allow oil firms to transfer the cost to customers.

The fuel shortages have been eased to some extent after the price hikes earlier this month, but many regions still face tight diesel supply, the notice stated.

China raised the prices of gasoline, diesel and aviation kerosene by 500 yuan (US$67.6) per ton, almost a 10 percent rise, starting from this month.

(Xinhua News Agency November 26, 2007)

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