On any day now there would be around 10% of gas stations in Ho Chi Minh City that stay open but do not have fuel to sell, an official said.
Nguyen Thi Kim Ngoc, deputy director of HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, said at a press conference Thursday that many of these are small businesses in outlying districts who do not have adequate storage. They have not established close contact with major distributors, and thus would be the last to receive any supply.
HCMC has 550 gas stations and since early October, many have experienced discontinued business regularly as they ran out of gasoline or diesel.
“Every day around 9-10% of gas stations in the city would be out of gasoline or diesel but they remain open,” Ngoc said.
Besides, three gas stations have suspended operation and another has shut down.
She said the department has asked well-stocked businesses to extend operation hours, and wholesalers such as Petrolimex, Saigon Petro, and PVOil to secure a supply strong enough to share with retailers.
Many gas stations in HCMC and southern provinces have been running out of stock and closing down in recent weeks, incurring losses.
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien told the National Assembly on Oct. 22 that the south used to have a significant amount of smuggled and adulterated gasoline, but the smuggling has been checked in recent times, therefore, no one wants to sell fuel when commissions are low.
But many lawmakers insisted that the instability in the petroleum market is due to a lack of coordination between government agencies managing it.
They blamed the Ministries of Industry and Trade and Finance for failing to manage the market efficiently.
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