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Cooking gas prices flare for 3rd time this year

Update: February, 03/2012 - 10:12

HCM CITY - The price of cooking gas rose by around 11 per cent on Wednesday (Feb 1), the third hike already this year.

Sai Gon Petro, Gia Dinh Gas, and Vinagas put up the prices of a 12kg cylinder by VND42,000-45,000 (US$2-2.2).

The three hikes have totally added VND74,000 ($3.5) to the price, taking it to VND425,000 - 428,000 ($20.3).

Shell gas costs VND464,280 ($22).

The companies blamed the increase on the hike in the prices of imported gas, which has now gone up to US$145 per tonne.

Cuong, a gas agent in Thu Duc District in HCM City, said: "Though we were informed about the increase in advance, we are shocked because [it] is dramatic.

"Today we sell only four cylinders daily instead of 10 as usual."

With gas prices soaring, many consumers are considering other kinds of fuel.

Nguyen Thi Yen Nga, 53, of Binh Thanh District, HCM City, said her family was considering using an electric instead of gas stove.

Sai Gon Petro agents in HCM City and Long An Province said the additional commission of VND5,000-7,000 per cylinder that was paid before Tet (Lunar New Year) has been scrapped.

Le Thi Anh Man, vice chairwoman of the Viet Nam Gas Association, said the price had risen sharply not only because of the jump in imported gas prices but also an increase in import tax by 2 - 5 per cent this year.

The association plans to ask the Government to lower the tax, she said. - VNS

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