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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        31  May 2011

Fuel imports to Vietnam increase

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Increased domestic demand for gasoline would cause fuel imports to soar during the next few months, according to Petrolimex.

The Viet Nam National Petroleum Corporation (Petrolimex) accounts for 52 percent of the total market share and acts as one of 11 national petrol distributors.

The company forecast that, during the next six months, the corporation would purchase a total of 4.32 million tonnes of petrol (including 3.37 million tonnes from abroad and 950,000 tonnes from the domestic Dung Quat Oil Refinery) in order to meet domestic demand.

Petrolimex's deputy general director Nguyen Quang Kien said that the rising demand for imports would cause a rise in demand for foreign currencies. He also added the two-month maintenance closure of the Dung Quat Oil Refinery would cause an additional domestic shortage in petrol supply.

Kien said that current domestic gasoline (A92) prices were 10 to 40 percent lower than those of neighbouring countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

During the first five months of 2011, the global price of crude oil increased by 25 percent while the price of refined crude oil products increased by 32 to 43 percent in comparison with the same period last year.

Petrolimex has purchased 2.270 million tonnes of petrol, including 780,000 tonnes from Dung Quat Oil Refinery since the start of the year.

For those reasons, Petrolimex has requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Finance to allow petrol prices to be adjusted following Government Decree 84, calling for measures to help domestic fuel distributors, Kien said.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said that petrol prices, which affect many other commodity prices, would not be adjusted as the nation was currently trying to curb inflation.

He added that fuel prices should remain under state control.

Thanks to Government Resolution 11, the Forex market has stabilised, thereby satisfying the demand for foreign currencies as well as distributors' needs.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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