The mainland, the world's second-biggest oil consumer, is to cut fuel prices to motorists, in the first adjustment under new controls, after the cost of crude oil fell.
Retail petrol will fall by 395 yuan (HK$497) a tonne and diesel by 400 yuan, effective today, the top economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, said on its website yesterday.
The reduction was in line with changes in average global crude costs in the past 10 working days and included an amount from the last price review, it said.
The pump price of 90-RON, China III petrol in Beijing will fall 4 per cent to 7.10 yuan a litre, the NDRC figures show.
The government changed the pricing mechanism for oil products to better reflect movements in international crude costs and reduce speculation, the NDRC said in a statement announcing the measures on March 26.
The first review was on April 10, when the NDRC said the adjustment signalled was too small to be implemented and would be rolled over to the next appraisal.
Under the new rules, fuel tariffs are reviewed every 10 working days.
The NDRC may hold off from a revision in prices if petrol or diesel is due to rise or fall by less than 50 yuan a tonne, or when the country is facing "significant" circumstances, such as high inflation or steep increases in international prices.
Under the previous mechanism, introduced in December 2008, the NDRC tracked the 22-working-day moving average of a mix of Brent, Dubai and Cinta crude.
It considered a price revision only if the average moved more than 4 per cent from the previous change.
London-traded Brent, the benchmark price for more than half the world's oil, has dropped 8 per cent since March 26. West Texas Intermediate has fallen 7 per cent in New York.