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$15 Billion Jet Fuel Market to Open Soon

China takes another step towards de-regulation...

New regulations aimed at giving companies, like BP and ExxonMobil, immediate access to China's jet fuel market when it opens fully at the end of 2006 are underway, said Yang Yuanyuan, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). State-owned China Aviation Oil Group Corp, currently holds a monopoly over the jet fuel market.

China promised, as part of its World Trade Organization entry commitments, to open its retail jet fuel market to international investors by the end of 2005, and the wholesale market by the end of 2006. "As the industry grows, we have to amend the policy in this regard. We will try to finish relevant legislation before 2007," Yang said. He said China Aviation's monopoly will be broken and that the government is speeding up the amendment of relevant regulations to facilitate the opening of the market.

Foreign jet fuel companies are currently allowed access to the China market by taking minority stakes in joint ventures with domestic firms, but in reality the wholesale and retail jet fuel market is monopolized by China Aviation Oil Group Corp.

China's jet fuel market is currently worth about US $ 15 billion a year and has been rising at an annual average of 15 percent, industry observers said.