HA NOI — Domestic fuel distributors and dealers have been struggling with increasing world petrol prices while a lid has been kept on retail prices in the domestic market.
|A customer buys petrol in the northern province of Nam Dinh's My Loc District. Petrol distributors and dealers have been struggling with increasing petroleum costs while forced to retail petrol at prices below those elsewhere in the world. — VNA/VNS Photo Ha Thai
During the first two months of this year, the volume of fuel imported had declined by 31.7 per cent while the world petrol price had increased by 18.5 per cent, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) announced.
However, the decrease in imports was caused by declining consumption rather than a world price hike, the ministry said.
During an online meeting held by the MoIT on Monday, Vo Van Quyen, director of the Domestic Market Department under the ministry, said that in the past few days the basic petrol price was higher than the retail price on the domestic market.
Meanwhile, the domestic gasoline price now was much cheaper than that in other countries in the region, such as China, Laos and Cambodia. In Viet Nam, the price of gasoline RON 92 now stood at VND20,800 (nearly US$1) per litre in comparison with VND26,288 and VND25,830 per litre in China and Cambodia, respectively.
To solve difficulties for local petrol distributors, the MoIT, in co-operation with the Ministry of Finance, would organise a meeting later this month.
The Finance Ministry indicated it might consider an adjustment to the retail petrol price. However, in the long-term, petrol prices would be controlled under Government Decree 84 or the market mechanism.
Price adjustment and tax reduction were being applied in the short term only, Quyen said.
Government Decree 84 allows businesses to adjust petrol prices up to 7 per cent when the world petrol prices fluctuate 7 per cent in the past 30 consecutive days. When the global oil prices are unstable from 7-12 per cent, enterprises are allowed to increase the price by 60 per cent of the increase while the balance will be offset by import tax adjustment and the fuel stabilisation fund.
The two ministries would ask the Government to amend part of Decree 84 regarding higher commission rates for retail petrol dealers.
"The two ministries would address the issues soon with the aim of ensuring the domestic market runs under the market mechanism while curbing inflation and stabilising the macroeconomy," Quyen said.
In the past few days, several gas stations in Hue and Da Nang cities had temporarily shut down or reduced volumes for sale under the impact of surging world prices while the domestic price was required to stay unchanged, Quyen said.
The MoIT would supervise the market regularly to ensure sufficient supplies, he added.
Petrol dealers are required to hold a reserve of petrol equivalent to at least 30 days of supply.
Fuel dealers claim petrol prices should be raised by up to VND1,000 per litre to prevent losses and to stabilise the domestic market. — VNS