Reuters reports that China is rationing diesel at pump stations in at least four coastal provinces in the widest-scale rationing since 2003, as rising oil prices hit output at loss-making Chinese refiners.
With US crude soaring to new highs above $92 a barrel on Friday, the supply squeeze is a telling sign that high oil is taking its toll on demand in the world's second-largest consumer by forcing refiners to limit output.
“We are rationing. Supplies are getting short,” said a sales executive with top refiner Sinopec Corp from east China’s Jiangsu province.
The rationing, which started about a week ago, reflected official data released earlier on Friday that showed China’s apparent oil demand nearly stalled in September with only a 0.3 percent rise from a year earlier, the lowest growth in 20 months, according to Reuters calculations.