Major southern suppliers Nam Song Hau and Xuyen Viet Oil were suspended from importing fuel in the third quarter due to tax debts and insufficient equipment, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Nam Song Hau failed to install equipment to report fuel inventory data directly to customs authorities and therefore was suspended, the ministry stated Friday.
Xuyen Viet Oil had a tax debt of VND684 billion ($27.49 million) and therefore was suspended from July-end to mid-September, it added.
“Because of the suspension my company only bought from two domestic refineries Nghi Son and Binh Son. If big suppliers like us and Nam Song Hau are not allowed to import, it is certain that 13 southern localities will report shortages,” Mai Thi Hong Hanh told Lao Dong newspaper.
Fuel shortages have been plaguing Ho Chi Minh City and southern localities in the last several weeks. The HCMC Industry and Trade Department ascribed the shortage to suppliers being suspended from importing.
Gasoline imports in the third quarter fell by 40% from the second quarter, and diesel by 35%. Only 19 out of 33 suppliers imported gasoline.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that another reason for the shortage is rising costs of transporting fuel to Vietnam, while suppliers have been struggling to access bank loans amid a lack of credit quotas.
The finance ministry, which together with the trade ministry oversees gasoline matters, said that suppliers need to report all transportation costs, and that the trade ministry needs to clarify “unusual” cost surges.
Amid a tension of supply, nationwide supplier Petrolimex said Friday that it plans to ensure 80% of demand in November, while still looking for other sources to cover the remaining inventory for this year.
The state-owned company proposed that its southern storage facility Nha Be be upgraded to ensure energy security for southern localities.
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