China's Gasoline Prices Surpass Those in US

Americans may be grumbling about the high price of gas, but most still pay less for fuel than consumers in other parts of the world. Many in Europe pay more than two dollars per liter - roughly double the average price for gasoline in the U.S. And now, even Chinese consumers - who have long enjoyed government subsidies - are paying more for fuel than Americans. The rising prices are adding to fears of slower growth in the world's two biggest economies.

Record oil profits is an election year issue in the United States.

"Every time gas goes up by a penny, these companies usually profit another $200 million in quarterly profits," said President Barack Obama.

But cash-strapped Americans are just looking for relief.

"I don't know what it was last time, but I don't remember it being $4 [per gallon]," said one man.

Americans are not the only ones complaining. Rising fuel prices are starting to hurt Chinese motorists. Beijing has raised gasoline prices twice in less than two months in a bid to curb the use of fossil fuels. And now Chinese consumers are paying more than Americans. Chinese truck driver Ding Shubiao said transportation companies are especially vulnerable.

"Our team has dozens of trucks. If one liter costs an extra half a yuan and each truck takes over 400 liters of diesel, then we lose 200 or 300 yuan for each vehicle," he said.

Asian Development Bank economist Zhuang Jian said the higher fuel costs are making Chinese companies less competitive.

"If the price of oil goes very high, it will have an effect on various industries, and ultimately will slow their speed of growth," said Zhuang.

Energy consumption is declining in the United States, but it is rising in developing markets like China and India. Higher demand means higher prices, but oil analyst Simon Wardell said uncertainty in oil-producing nations, such as Iran, is adding a premium to world prices.

"It would only take a disruption from Iran, the amount they export, roughly two million barrels a day exported from Iran. If that goes off the market, then yes we really do have some issues with trying to meet that supply," said Wardell.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, says it is prepared to increase production as needed. Without any relief soon, Wardell said, rising prices will choke economic growth, not just in China and the U.S., but around the world.  

"The global economy is still recovering and these sorts of prices knock that back a bit," said Wardell.

But oil prices may be leveling off. Crude oil futures dipped to six week lows on Friday on signs the U.S. and Europe are close to releasing emergency oil reserves to put a brake on rising prices.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: William
April 03, 2012 10:41 AM
Good let there economy go into the gutter too! We know how much china likes to play by the rules they deserve what we deserve and we never had trade with the soviet union and why are we doing business with china, I thought it was the job of the united states to get rid of communism but greedy american busnessmen only care about money not their country!

by: Christine
March 31, 2012 5:18 AM
If the situation keep it going, I am afraid that I will even not be able to afford to the bus fees.That's terrible. But I believe that everything will be better.

by: phillip
March 31, 2012 12:07 AM
This is no joke. This is a problem for many families with mouths to feed.

by: Leaf
March 30, 2012 6:56 PM
It's true.

by: william young
March 30, 2012 5:12 PM
what I concern about is the growing oil price and the basic household consumption. do you think the comparison between PRC and USA is reasonable? maybe U neglect some basic facts.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs