China announced today that it will sell oil from its state reserves as Beijing intensifies efforts to contain inflationary pressures stemming from the raw materials market.
In a statement, the State Office of Grain and Materials Reserves said on Thursday that it would release oil in the reserve for sale to domestic refineries, in order to “relieve pressure [inflacionária] caused by rising raw material prices”.
“Placing crude oil from national reserves on the market through open auction sales will better stabilize supply and demand in the domestic market and effectively guarantee national energy security,” he said. Other major oil importers, such as the United States, periodically draw on their national reserves during supply disruptions, but this is the first time that China has publicly announced its intention to draw on its reserves.
The Asian country has surpassed the US as the world’s largest importer of crude oil in the past decade.
The reserves administration has not specified how much of the oil will be released to the market.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies last week chose to stick to their current production-up schedule, which was cut at the start of the pandemic, resisting Washington’s calls for production to be restored. more quickly.
Brent’s global benchmark oil prices rose more than 40% in 2021 to around $72 a barrel.
Since the beginning of the year, China has stepped up efforts to control rising commodity prices, which have caused global inflation, including for manufactured goods, energy and food.
Over the past two months, the National Administration of Food and Strategic Reserves has held at least three similar auctions for state reserves of various metals, including copper, zinc and aluminum.