Fuel prices slightly lower in Vietnam

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Vietnam's finance ministry announced on Friday that it would cut retail fuel prices, after refusing to lower the prices earlier this month, despite a sharp fall in crude oil prices, VnExpress reported.

According to the ministry's latest announcement, gas prices will decrease by VND500 (US$0.024) per liter. For example, the price of A92, the most popular gasoline product in the country, now is sold at VND20,800 per liter instead of VND21.300.

Diesel and kerosene saw a price deduction of VND300 per liter, as well, the newswire reported.

In its announcement, the Ministry of Finance also asked petrol companies to set aside VND300 of every liter of gasoline they sell to the price stabilization fund instead of VND400 per liter as previously required, according to the VnExpress report.

Some companies' representatives said in the report that the ministry's latest move was unexpected, even though they knew that it would happen sooner or later considering the world's prices.

It quoted a leader of PV Oil as saying that over the past 30 days companies earned VND400 in profits for every liter of A92 sold, so the latest price deduction will make importers suffer losses a bit.

But, he said that as the world's prices are on decrease, the losses will be compensated soon.

Meanwhile, a high-ranking official from the ministry said the latest deduction wasn't unexpected, because with public formulas, "consumers can totally follow up the local and world's markets," VnExpress reported.

According to experts, while the decrease of between VND300-500 per liter isn't remarkable, it will help make consumers believe that they are being treated fairly.

On August 11, the finance ministry announced that it would keep the prices of petroleum products unchanged despite public anticipation of a reduction following a sharp fall in crude oil prices.

The ministry's price control department then even published formulas and market prices from a 30-day period of oil imported from Singapore, which supplies most of petroleum products to Vietnam's companies, according to the newswire.

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