Northern petrol stations run out of gas before price adjustment

By Anh Minh   September 4, 2022 | 03:31 am PT
Northern petrol stations run out of gas before price adjustment
A petrol station in the northern Vinh Phuc Province with an 'out of stock' sign on September 3, 2022. Photo by Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance
Two days before another price adjustment, many petrol stations in Hanoi and the northern provinces of Thai Nguyen and Vinh Phuc ran out of stock.

The situation was recorded by the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance at 21 stations Saturday. Representatives of these stations explained that the local enterprises had halted supply or only supplied in small quantities. In Hanoi, some stations have run out of RON 95-III gasoline and only had diesel.

"We ran out of stock early Saturday morning," said an employee of a station in Dong Anh District, Hanoi.

In Vinh Phuc Province, after checking six stations in Binh Xuyen District, the inspection team recorded three stations that had run out of RON 95-III gasoline, but with E5 RON 92 and diesel in stock. Many stations in Thai Nguyen Province also ran out of RON 95-III.

Chu Quoc Khanh, Deputy Director of Thai Nguyen Directorate of Market Surveillance, said that during the National Day holiday (Sep 1-4), he received reports from a number of businesses asking to temporarily stop selling RON 95-III due to limited quantity.

This situation also occurred a week ago in southern provinces. Not only retail petrol stations faced difficulties but also Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), which accounts for about 49% of the domestic retail market share.

The company said that the sharp increase in consumption volume, especially the direct retail channel, made it difficult for enterprises to tap resources. On average, every day, Petrolimex sells about 17,000 cubic liters of petrol in retail, but the volume recently increased to over 21,000 cubic liters, and peaked on Wednesday, the day before the holiday weekend, at 27,000 cubic liters.

The sudden increase in consumption has put great pressure on petrol companies as their inventories quickly ran out.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has set up three teams led by three deputy ministers to inspect the petroleum supply situation across cities and provinces. Coordination is needed to clarify the cause of gasoline scarcity, including supplies of E5 RON 92 and RON 95-III.

Since the beginning of the year, the domestic gasoline price has undergone 22 adjustments, of which there were 13 increases and eight decreases. It is forecast that at the price adjustment Monday, the gasoline price would increase after several drops and periods of stability.

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