Some gasoline stations in Hanoi and Hai Phong City have run out of stocks, causing inconvenience to people, who have to drive around and fill elsewhere.
On Pham Van Dong Road leading into the Hai Phong – Hanoi Expressway Thursday evening most fuel stations shut down at 9 p.m.
A Petrolimex station had five employees on duty but also a sign saying: “Out of gasoline and oil. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Quan of Hanoi’s Tay Ho District struggled to find gas while returning from Hai Phong.
He finally found an open station in Hai Duong Province, but was only allowed to buy VND200,000 ($8.52) worth of gasoline, or around nine liters.
A worker told him the gas station could not buy enough stocks and therefore had to limit sales.
On Thuy Khuy Street in Hanoi, two thirds of the stations were not open.
During the seven-day Tet holidays which began January 20, several stations in Ho Chi Minh City and An Giang Province also shut down.
But the HCMC Directorate of Market Surveillance claimed that only a few out of the over 550 stations in the city shut down and only because their staff left for their hometowns for the holidays.
Fuel supply remains steady, it added.
The Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance has set up a task force in the north to examine supply in places like Hanoi, Ha Nam, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, and Hai Phong.
Some gas stations have been fined for selling at higher prices and shutting down without an appropriate reason.
The country’s largest refinery, Nghi Son, cut production by 25% earlier this month due to a technical issue, which it fixed by January 15.
It said it would increase production during the rest of the month to make up.
Some retailers have said that since authorities did not fix new retail prices on January 21 as scheduled and instead moved the announcement to February 1, they are selling at low commissions or even losses after prices shot up during the holidays.
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