Filling stations in parts of China are rationing and even halting petrol and diesel sales amid a fuel shortage, the Associated Press has revealed.

The publication reported that, due to cost controls imposed by the government, refiners are unable to pass on increasing crude oil costs to suppliers. As a result, many are not expanding their refining capacity, which has led to a fuel shortage.

The publication cited the China Chamber of Commerce for the Petroleum Industry as saying that fuel shortages have been reported throughout China, and also cited industry publication Caijing as revealing that as many as 2,000 petrol stations have been forced to close as they have no fuel to sell.

According to the Associated Press, the shortages have interrupted truck export activities in the Shanghai provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang and Henan. However, it said that the impact on China’s key export industries is not yet clear.

Reuters reported that although the Chinese government increased petrol and diesel prices 17 months ago, it has vowed that it will not raise them again in 2007. However, with the global oil price reaching $93 per barrel, many smaller refiners have been forced to suspend their operations as they face losses processing crude oil at its current prices.