|Customers buy petrol at a station in Hà Nội’s Đống Đa District. — Photo otofun.net|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam spent US$1.3 billion on importing 2.14 million tonnes of petroleum from South Korea over the past nine months of this year.
This accounted for 22.5 per cent of the country’s total petroleum imports and surpassed the $940 million value recorded in the whole of 2016.
The nine-month petroleum import also marked a significant growth of 79 per cent in volume, as compared to the same period last year, according to the General Department of Customs.
Some petroleum distributors attributed a sharp increase in the country’s petroleum import from South Korea, with the free trade agreement between the two countries coming into force and tax being pegged at 10 per cent on imported fuel from South Korea. Taxes for other ASEAN countries remained at 20 per cent.
The one-month maintenance of Dung Quất oil refinery in June had also made petrol importers foster their imports, and South Korea, which had an abundant fuel source, was their first choice.
Việt Nam is expected to continue importing petroleum products for the next five years, as the production of major oil refineries is unable to meet the increasing local demand.
The annual demand for petroleum products is estimated at some 6.5 million tonnes and for diesel at some 8.5 million tonnes in the 2018-22 period, according to a report by Bình Sơn Refining and Petrochemical Co Ltd, which manages and operates the Dung Quất oil refinery. — VNS