Petroleum importers have made a windfall profit of VND700-800 (US$0.033-0.038) per litre of oil over the past month as world oil price falls have not been fully reflected in retail prices.
HA NOI —
Meanwhile, some distributors have increase commissions to retailers to nearly VND1,000 per litre in a scramble for market share.
World oil prices have been falling since November to record lows recently, Associated Press reported. Crude plunged about 13 per cent from $106 per barrel (or $0.67 per litre) two weeks ago because of expectations Europe's debt crisis would slow the global economy and reduce demand for fuel.
Investors were also closely watching the US economy, which had shown signs of uneven growth in recent months, AP reported. The US Government said on Wednesday that crude inventories rose again last week to their highest since 1990.
Energy trader and consultant Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report: "The oil market remains highly sensitive to any negative macroeconomic news, particularly with stockpiles at 22-year highs."
An anonymous representative of SaigonPetro Co Ltd told Dien dan Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Forum) newspaper said that ministries of Finance and Industry and Trade had decided to raise the import tariffs of petrol products from zero to 2-3 per cent and reduce the retail prices of oil products by VND300-500 on May 9.
Prices of RON 92 petrol had gone down to VND23,300 ($1.11), diesel to VND21,600, kerosene to VND21,400 and mazut to VND19,200.
Large importers like Petrolimex, PVOil and SaigonPetro have to make choice: either increase commissions or accept lower market share.
With the downturn of oil prices, it was expected that ministries would consider lowering the local retail price yet again, said experts. No notice period was required to lower prices. — VNS