Wednesday , May 22 2024

Gasoline pumps crowded as people seek to beat price hike

People are rushing to pumps to buy gasoline since retail prices are expected to be hiked on Friday afternoon.

Nguyen Thi Kieu Trinh, a housewife in HCMC’s District 3, queued in line for 15 minutes at a gas station on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street to fill her up her motorbike Thursday.

Like many others, she too rushed to fill up on hearing that gasoline prices will soar to VND30,000 ($1.29) per liter and even higher in future.

Pham Van Cuong, who was in the queue next to her, said the rising food and other prices have already left a dent in his wallet, and so he wanted to fill up to save as much as possible.

“I am a construction worker and my wife sells refreshments on the street, and so the price hike makes it very difficult for people like me”.

Now prices are at VND26,830 ($1.17) for a liter of the popular RON95 gasoline and VND26,070 for biofuel E5 RON92 after being hiked six times in three months.

Many gas stations in HCMC’s Go Vap, Tan Binh and Thu Duc districts were crowded on Thursday morning, and people had to queue for up to 20 minutes.

Employees at a gas station in Go Vap estimated the number of customers had doubled from the day before.
In Hanoi too, gas stations are more crowded than usual.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, four pumps meant for personal cars at a gas station in Thanh Xuan District was stretched to capacity. Cars too have to wait in long lines.

Tung, sales head at a fuel distribution company in Hanoi, said: “Our gas stations have enough supply for the next few days, and there are no volume restrictions for customers”.

Gasoline pumps crowded as people seek to beat Friday price hike

A distributor in HCMC said sales had soared by 30 percent Thursday over the past few days and are expected sales to keep surging.

Do Thanh Han, manager of a distribution firm in the southern province Binh Duong, too said the same.

Hanh, a worker at a gas station in Hanoi’s Thanh Xuan District, said: “Seven out of 10 customers ask me if gasoline prices will increase, and then tell me to fill up their motorbike tanks”.

On Thursday, many gas stations announced that they would only operate during office hours and close at 6 PM to stabilize supply.

A gas station on Kinh Duong Vuong Street in HCMC’s Binh Tan District closed early, saying it had run out of stocks. Staff there said an expected shipment was yet to arrive.

At the current prices, many distributors said they are losing VND3,000-5,000 per liter as global oil prices have surged amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“However, we are still trying to ensure adequate supply for customers,” the head of one of them said.

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