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P.M. BRIEFING : China to Help Boost Oil Prices

From Times wire services

China said today it will cut oil exports by 5% in the second quarter of this year to help boost world oil prices.

The official New China News Agency quoted Zheng Dunxun, head of the state oil trading arm, China National Chemicals Import & Export Corp., as saying the move was designed to help the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries restore prices to the group’s target of $18 a barrel.

Technical experts from China and five other oil-producing nations outside OPEC proposed at a meeting in London last month to try to bolster prices by tightening output. The five other non-OPEC producers are Egypt, Oman, North Yemen, Mexico and Malaysia. The Soviet Union, which attended the London meeting as an observer, said last Friday it is cutting its hard-currency exports by 5% in the first half of 1989 to support the price strategy.

China did not give a precise target for the second quarter, but it exported 26 million metric tons of oil--about 162 million barrels--in all of 1988, a drop of more than 4% from the previous year.

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