Vietnam fuel traders cut pump prices

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Gasoline prices in Vietnam were lowered Friday for the first time this year after fuel traders were criticized by experts and consumers alike for "unreasonable" pricing policies.

Pump prices were cut by VND500 per liter and now stand at VND16,490-16,990 per liter, the Ministry of Finance said. Prices of diesel and kerosene were left unchanged.

The Ministry of Finance in April allowed local fuel traders to offset their losses by extracting money from a state fund reserved for stabilizing fuel prices. But starting Friday the government cut the subsidies to VND200 per liter of gasoline from the previous VND500.

Since December 15 last year, the government has allowed fuel traders to raise pump prices without seeking government consent if world prices rise by 7 percent or more. Under this policy, businesses have raised prices twice this year.

But when oil prices fell sharply earlier this month and fuel traders still claimed losses, experts and consumers began to question the credibility of traders when setting prices.

An expert, who wished to be unnamed, said businesses had set prices unreasonably especially seeing as they were offered subsidies.


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