Vietnam’s manufacturing continued to expand in July at the slowest pace in four months due to gas price hikes and better enforcement of truck tonnage rules.
The Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) -- a figure released by HSBC and Markit Economics based on new orders, output, employment, supplier delivery times, and stocks of items purchased, fell to 51.7 from 52.3 in June.
Postings above the no-change mark of 50 indicate expansion, which has been steady for ten months in a row but slowed during each of the past three months.
New orders, including calls for exports, reportedly grew at a modest pace.
Panelists noted a sharp rise in input costs as fuel prices hit a record high on July 7.
The 1.62 percent price increase pushed 92 RON, the most popular grade of gasoline in Vietnam, to its highest-ever price of VND25,640 (US$1.21) per liter just two weeks after a 1.3 percent price hike.
Tonnage restrictions on trucks, meanwhile, remained effective, requiring companies to make more trips to deliver the same amount of goods.
Many new highway weigh stations went into operation in the middle of April to put a stop to rampant truck overloading.
The transport problems factored in the first increase in stocks of finished goods in three months, companies said.
Saigon Newport Corporation meanwhile imposed a new pricing policy in the middle of July at Ho Chi Minh City’s major port, Cat Lai, raising storage prices the longer the goods are kept there.