Gas prices set a record high in March
Do Trung Thanh, Deputy Head of the sales department at SaigonPetro, said a 12-kilo canister will be sold at VND477,000 (USD22.87) after the price hike.
Other gas traders, including MT Gas and Vinagas, said they would follow suit.
Since the beginning of 2012, gas prices have been increased four times. The first two were in January, the next in February and the latest on March 1.
The current price of gas is VND126,000 (USD6.04) higher, per 12-kilo canister, than the in late 2011; a rise of nearly 36%.
Thanh attributed the latest increases to the sharp rise in prices in the world market in March, which are at USD1,205 per tonne, up USD180 from February.
Notably, domestic gas prices often have been slightly higher than the international market rate. For example, the USD180 increase in world price would mean a rise of VND3,800 per kilo in theory. However actual prices rose by VND4,300 per kilo in Vietnam.
In February, when the gas prices went up by 20% for the month, authorities in HCM City carried out inspections over the gas trade in the city. The result was that retailers had to lower prices by VND10,000 per 12-kilo canister.
Recently, the municipal government requested the city’s Department of Finance to study plans to add gas to list of goods marked for price stabilisation. However, the idea saw strong opposition from gas traders who claimed that it is not feasible to stabilise gas prices due to dependence on imports.