Although a small number of petrol companies have started to set their own prices without considering the main fuel supplier, Petrolimex, it remains difficult for these companies to compete.
After the Ministry of Finance allowed petrol companies to increase their prices by 7%, many companies have raised their prices from August 1.
Saigon Petrol, which has an 8% market share of retail gasoline sales across the country, was the first. Petrolvietnam Oil Corporation, with 25% of market share and Saigon Fuel JSC followed were close to follow.
The Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), which holds around 60% market share, announced their prices at 2 pm on the same day. Other companies, such as Military Petroleum Company and Materials - Petroleum Joint Stock Company, raised their selling prices instantly.
Aside from the agreed-upon increase of VND900 per litre of petrol, Petrolimex lost their price-setting status when Saigon Petrol increased their prices one hour earlier and their increased kerosene prices were lower than that of Petorlimex.
On the previous price adjustment day, July 20, enterprises simultaneously increased prices by the same amount. Many of these companies have said that they followed the prices set by Petrolimex, but refused to go into details about the reasons.
Industry experts have said that the fuel market is mostly in Petrolimex's hands, leaving it difficult for other enterprises to remain competitive if they do not fall into line.
If one small company set their prices higher than Petrolimex's, consumers might not buy from them, leaving the companies with losses as a result of trying to set higher prices. The end result, according to some, is a less competitive gasoline market.