Gasoline wholesalers required to sell reserves amid fuel shortage

By Hoai Thu, Thi Ha   November 3, 2022 | 02:57 am PT
Gasoline wholesalers required to sell reserves amid fuel shortage
A gasoline station on Thuy Khe Street, Hanoi ceased operation on Nov. 1, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tu
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has requested state-run gasoline and oil wholesalers to sell their commercial reserves to mitigate fuel shortages in some localities.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien on Wednesday asked PVN, Petrolimex, Mipec, Petimex and Thanh Le General Import-Export Trading Corporation to sell their reserves. Normally, wholesalers are supposed to ensure enough reserves to cover 20 days.

As of Sept. 30, the state-owned wholesalers’ commercial reserves were over 1.25 million cubic meters of gasoline and oil, equivalent to 74% of Vietnam’s total consumption in one month.

Relevant state agencies will consider punishing 14 gasoline and oil enterprises, mostly private wholesalers, which have not supplied fuel to distributors and retailers as planned, the minister said.

At present, two domestic oil refineries meet 70-80% of the country’s demand for gasoline and oil. However, half of the two refineries’ supplies depend on imported crude oil, he noted.

"In reality, Vietnam still has to import around 70% of materials for gasoline and oil production and finished products. Local crude oil and finished fuel products account for only 30%," said the minister.

The Government on Wednesday asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, to ensure sufficient supplies of gasoline and oil for production and daily life in all circumstances.

After retail prices of gasoline and oil increased on Nov. 1, partial fuel shortages have still occurred in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and some other cities and provinces nationwide. The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade said nearly 20% of local gasoline stations faced gasoline shortages.

Many retailers said the commissions they receive from wholesalers remain very low, while supplies from wholesalers are still insufficient.

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