||Asean Affairs 3 June 2013
Fuel traders petition ministry for another petrol price hike
HA NOI: Domestic petroleum wholesalers have lobbied the Finance Ministry to approve an increase in retail prices, claiming they have taken losses despite the recent falls in the world fuel price.
The proposal was made right after the ministry approved to cut fuel tariffs from 19 to 18 per cent and the world oil price had just fallen for the fifth time consecutively.
Trinh Quang Khanh, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Petroleum Association told newspapers that petrol importers have been making profits of VND270 per litre on petrol, VND290 per litre on DO oil and VND130 per kilo on FO oil after deducting all taxes and fees.
Khanh said it was for this reason that petrol wholesalers have given higher commissions of VND650-700 or even VND900 per litre to their retailers.
However, the interdisciplinary team of Industry and Trade and Finance ministries on the petroleum market issued another rebuttal, saying the higher commissions would help wholesalers resolve their inventory and pay off interest.
A representative from the team said the reference price in the Singaporean market - where Viet Nam sources most of its fuel – had in fact increased over the past 10 days.
He said fuel prices in the market had increased from US$106 a barrel to $112-113 a barrel since the beginning of last month.
He added that petrol enterprises had taken losses of VND150-200 per litre on petrol and VND200 per litre on oil.
Nguyen Tan Phat, director of Petrolimex retailer South Sai Gon Trading Company, said Petrolimex had given a commission of VND670 per litre (including transport fees) to retailers.
He said other companies would receive higher commissions if they were located further from Petrolimex warehouses.
Economist Le Dang Doanh said fuel wholesalers' profits and losses had not been transparent and properly announced to the public.
People found it difficult to check information from petrol enterprises, he added.