Despite an increase in gasoline prices, several retailers in HCMC still complained Tuesday afternoon about not having enough gasoline to sell.
At a gas station on Pham Van Chieu Street in Go Vap District, employees said the number of customers coming since early morning was so high that their gasoline stock ran out by noon. They said no supply had arrived until the evening.
“We are waiting for the gasoline, but it would probably come late at night,” an employee said.
At another gas station on Ha Huy Giap Street in District 12, employees said the restocking of gasoline was happening very slowly and it would only take 1-2 hours before their stock was completely sold out.
The owner of three gas stations in Ho Chi Minh City said his shops were trying to sell fuel slowly, based on what they had in storage.
“We stand ready to order more gasoline, but all our sources say they’ve run out and don’t know when they can get more gasoline for supplies,” he said.
Starting 3 p.m. Tuesday, RON95 gasoline prices increased by 2.6%, the first increase in nearly three months, after retailers repeatedly complained that the low retail price caused them to sell at a loss. RON95 is now sold at VND22,000 ($0.92) per liter, the same level as December last year.
A Petrolimex representative said that for the past three days, the company has been constantly trying to increase gasoline supply to HCMC retailers to meet demand. Last Sunday, it supplied 1,900 m3 of gasoline, a 35% increase above the normal average, and increased this further to 2,100 m3 on Monday (50% more than usual).
The gasoline was supplied to 70 retailers under Petrolimex and its authorized resellers, accounting for 31% of the city’s gasoline demand.
“Today, we have further increased supply compared to yesterday to the highest level possible,” the rep added.
Cao Hoai Duong, chairman of the management board of PetroVietnam Oil (PVOIL), said several gas stations in HCMC have been downing their shutters over the past two days, causing customers to flock to PVOIL retailers. The amount of gasoline they were selling was three times the normal, he added.
Duong said his company has been providing its retail outlets 6% more gasoline than originally planned since earlier this month. In HCMC, PVOIL has provided 28% more gasoline to its retailers than originally planned, he added.
Amidst the gasoline shortage, the HCMC Department of Transport has said it would provide temporary traffic support for vehicles carrying gasoline to enter downtown areas. It has also requested local police forces to re-route traffic for gasoline-carrying vehicles to move around easily, securing supply for production, business and daily life.
Recently, 36 retailers in HCMC complained about the “problematic” management of fuel retail prices by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Finance, saying they were kept so low that businesses were losing money on every liter of gasoline sold.
Businesses in HCMC and other southern Vietnam localities have urged the finance ministry to recalculate costs when in pricing gasoline, and to recheck the costs of imported fuels and taxes to balance interests of all parties in the fuel market.
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