BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhua) -- China's gasoline prices will be cut by 230 yuan (33.7 U.S. dollars) per tonne and diesel prices by 220 yuan per tonne from Tuesday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced Monday.
The price cuts came after a record high in price hikes in April. The previous price cut was in September 2009.
Before the adjustment, the benchmark price of gasoline was 7,420 yuan per tonne and diesel 6,680 yuan per tonne.
Cao Changqing, head of price department of the NDRC, said the adjustment was "timely and in a proper amount" in response to recent changes in the international crude oil prices.
International crude oil prices had been rising before May, when they began to decline, the NDRC statement said. The recent drops had amounted to 4 percent, meeting price adjustment conditions, it added.
Cao said the move was also based on the global and domestic economic sitations and oil supply and demand as well as the country's pricing mechanism.
In 2009, China adopted an oil pricing mechanism that allows the NDRC to adjust retail fuel prices when the international crude oil price changes by more than 4 percent over 22 straight working days
The government would raise benchmark prices for domestically-produced onshore natural gas by 230 yuan per thousand cubic meters, or 24.9 percent, to 1,155 yuan per thousand cubic meters because of relatively low prices and strong demand, he said.