China will increase the wholesale price of natural gas for non-residential use by 20.5 percent from Sept. 1 to "guide the reasonable allocation" of resources, the top economic planner announced on Tuesday.
The price adjustment will only be based on the amount of natural gas industrial and commercial users consumed in 2012, while the price for newly added gas consumption since then will remain unchanged, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Meanwhile, the natural gas price hike will be waived for the time being for fertilizer makers, a sector that is struggling currently, with the NDRC saying it will apply the price changes to fertilizer makers "at an appropriate time later."
After the adjustment, the price of non-residential natural gas will rise by 0.4 yuan to 2.35 yuan (about 38.2 U.S. cents) per cubic meter at gas stations.
The latest hike comes after a similar 15.4-percent increase for non-residential gas consumers in July last year when the NDRC launched a new pricing mechanism.
The commission said the new pricing program has produced "positive results" in terms of supply and demand, thus quickening the pace of domestic gas development and the introduction of overseas resources.
The NDRC also announced on Tuesday that it will give up its control of the wholesale price of imported liquified natural gas, shale gas and coalbed methane from Sept. 1, letting suppliers sign independent contracts with downstream users concerning gas trade and transport.