Dip in global prices allows another fuel price cut in Vietnam

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Vietnam cut petroleum retail prices for the fourth time this year as global oil prices dropped to their lowest in eight months.

The price of 92-RON gasoline, the most common grade of fuel in Vietnam, was reduced by 3.2 percent to VND21,900 a liter, local media reported, citing a decision from the Ministry of Finance. Other fuel products, including diesel and kerosene, had their prices cut by between VND300 and VND400 per liter. The new prices took effect at 4:00 p.m. Thursday.

Fuel prices were cut twice in May and then reduced again earlier this month. Prior to the first cut in May, gasoline stood at a high of VND23,800 per liter.

According to Bloomberg, oil dropped to the lowest price in eight months this week after US stockpiles unexpectedly increased and a report signaled China's manufacturing will shrink this month. Oil for August delivery on Thursday slid as much as $1.34 to $80.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest price for a front-month contract since October 6.

The reduction of VND700 per liter of gasoline came after local media reported that fuel traders were making hefty profits due to falling global prices.

Petrolimex, the country's largest fuel distributor, however, said the profit was only around VND600 per liter, according to news website VnExpress. The Ministry of Finance's decision suggests that the profits could have been higher.

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