No fuel price hikes for now: official

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Vietnam will continue to keep fuel prices unchanged to maintain economic stability, a senior official said, rejecting rumors that the country's price stabilization fund has run out of money.

Nguyen Tien Thoa, head of the Finance Ministry's Price Management Department, said he could not say for sure for how long fuel prices can stay unchanged. But he affirmed that petrol distributors will continue to use the price stabilization fund and refrain from hiking prices.

Fuel companies claim they are incurring a loss of VND2,400 (12 US cents) for each liter of gasoline they sell.

Thoa conceded that in the context of high world oil prices, local fuel distributors were actually incurring losses. However, the authorities need to make sure petrol prices are at a level that the economy can tolerate, he added.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will ensure adequate fuel supply for the country, Thoa said.

Consumers contribute VND300 to the price stabilization fund every time they buy a liter of gas or oil. Since mid-November, fuel companies have taken VND1,200 from the fund per liter of gasoline and kerosene sold.

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