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Vietnam still cannot slash petrol prices   0000-00-00 - Tien phong

Vuong Thai Dung, Deputy General Director of Petrolimex, the main petrol importer and distributor in Vietnam, yesterday said that Vietnam still cannot lower retail petrol prices at this moment, though the price of oil has dropped to $123/barrel on the world’s market.


The petrol price has slashed in many countries
Dung said that only after the price of petrol has decreased for a long time and stayed at a low level for a certain period could Vietnam consider lowering the retail petrol price.


Prior to July 21, 2008, the day when the decision on raising the retail petrol price was announced, the retail petrol price had been lower than the cost price; and importers suffered the loss of VND4,000 for every litre of oil.


Dung said that importers have been making a profit of VND200/litre of petrol in the last few days, while they are still losing VND3,000/litre of oil.


As Petrolimex had to sell petrol at prices lower than the import prices, it incurred the loss of over VND5,000 in the first six months of the year, including VND950bil for petrol sold, and VND4,200bil for oil.


Last year the oil price increased by $70 and the price is expected to increase by $140 this year. The state has had to compensate petroleum importers big sums of money to keep the petrol price in place. Even with price decreases, the state would still be unable to recover its losses at an early date.


“We are really looking forward to lower sale prices, but we do not think that relevant agencies will dare to order the lowering of retail prices in the near future, because this would be burdensome on the state budget.”


As such, the petrol price in Vietnam will not decrease in the immediate time, despite the oil price decreases. Many countries in the world have announced they are cutting retail petrol prices. A92 petrol is now selling at VND19,000/litre in Vietnam.


In the US, the petrol price decreased to bellow $4/gallon late last week. At 10 am on July 28, big petrol retailers in Singapore all announced adjustments of the sale prices of A95 and A92 petrol to S$2.036/litre (US$1.494) and S$2.003/litre (US$1.469), respectively.


The price of diesel oil has also been slashed to S$1.863/litre (US$1.367). As such, petrol and diesel both have enjoyed the reduction of $cent10/litre.


The retail petrol price in Australia was $1.59/litre on July 28 on average, and the price is expected to be further lowered to $1.4/litre in some more days.


Meanwhile, New Zealand has cut petrol prices three times within the last eight days. The petrol price in the country has decreased by $cent12 from the highest peak in July.


In Thailand, the retail petrol price has decreased by baht1/litre thanks to the government’s tax cut. Chairman of the country’s PTT oil and gas group P. Bumsumphun said that the retail price may further decrease as the world’s oil price is decreasing.

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