Vietnam's finance ministry won't lower fuel prices

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The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance asked fuel outlets to maintain their current retail prices on Friday, in response to questions about the recent drop in global fuel costs.


It's impossible to consider lowering fuel retail prices at the moment, the ministry said.


On Saturday, VnExpress also reported that ministry officials said they would not increase import taxes on petroleum products.

The body's current position appears to contradict a March 29 announcement in which its officials and those from the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that if world fuel prices fell, then taxes on imported fuel would be put back into place and retail prices would also fall.

During their most recent announcement, finance officials said that the world market is experiencing two apparently contradictory trends: despite the fact that crude oil is getting cheaper, the cost of oil and fuel remains high, the newswire reported.


Over the past two days, crude oil prices have suddenly shot up again to US$99 per barrel. Imported fuel prices, meanwhile, are increasing as well, making it hard for businesses to cover their expenses.


In Vietnam, A92 gasoline now sells for VND21,300 (US$1.03) a liter, while diesel and kerosene sell for VND21,100 ($1.02) and VND20,800 ($1.01) per liter. respectively.


Vietnamese consumers still pay far less than those in China, Laos and Cambodia, according to the ministry.


However, in its latest announcement, the ministry said it would continue to observe global fuel prices to create a suitable adjustment plan.


From June 10 to July 7 crude oil prices fell 4.95 percent, while imported gasoline's price fell by 0.96 percent, VnExpress reported.


Diesel and kerosene prices have also decreased by 0.52 percent and 0.84 percent respectively.


Vietnam raised fuel prices by 10 percent on March 29, after an 18 percent hike on February 24.


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