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Vietnam cuts pump prices 3 pct on lower crude


October 19, 2008

Vietnam cuts pump prices 3 pct on lower crude
Vietnam's top fuel importer, Petrolimex, has cut retail gasoline prices by 3 percent, the company said on Friday, its second reduction in less than two weeks, following a sharp fall in global crude oil prices, reported Reuters.

The popular 92-octane gasoline now retails at 16,000 dong ($0.97) per litre, down from 16,500 dong, the company said on its Web site (

The 95-octane grade is now 16,500 dong per litre, down from 17,000 dong, and diesel prices are down nearly 2 percent to 15,200 dong per litre. Vietnam last cut retail petrol prices by 2.9 percent on October 7.

Oil prices have more than halved from their peak above $147 a barrel hit in July, on demand worries amid a global economic downturn.

On Friday, US crude for November delivery CLc1 rose $2.74 to $72.59 a barrel by 0159 GMT after having climbed more than $3 earlier. The contract settled $4.69 lower at $69.85, before the close of trade on Wall Street.

Consumers in Vietnam, which has around 21 million motorcycles, have urged importers to slash prices, which are still more than 20 percent higher than the beginning of the year.

But importers have said they needed to maintain the high prices to cover losses incurred earlier when world oil prices were above $140 a barrel.

Petrolimex, which controls about 60 percent of the domestic market, has said it accumulated a loss of nearly $100 million in the first seven months of 2008.

Finance Minister Vu Van Ninh said most state oil importers have oil reserves of 30 days of consumption, up from 20 days previously, state media reported on Friday.

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