Vietnam raises gas prices again, blames high import rates

Thanh Nien News

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A local gas station has updated the new prices. Photo credit: VnExpress A local gas station has updated the new prices. Photo credit: VnExpress

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Gasoline prices in Vietnam surged around 6 percent Wednesday night, two weeks after the government raised pump prices by 11 percent, the steepest hike in four years.
The state-owned fuel company Petrolimex now sells the most popular fuel grade 92 RON at VND20,430 a liter and 95 RON at VND21,030.
The biofuel grade E5, which the government has claimed to make efforts to keep prices cheap to encourage consumption, also received a similar price hike, now selling at VND20,100 a liter.
The price increase is the third this year, after 13 consecutive cuts in the second half of last year.

A graph from news website VnExpress shows how gasoline prices moved between February 2014 and May 2015. The peak depicted here was in July 2014. 
On March 11, Vietnam raised gas prices by around 10.2 percent, and then on May 5 by 11 percent. 
Diesel prices remain unchanged for now. 
The trade and finance ministries said in their statement that prices of fuel imports have been increasing the past two weeks, surpassing pump prices in Vietnam.
They said they have reduced import tariffs and used money from the price stabilization fund to keep price increases as small as possible. 

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