20% HCMC gas stations run out of fuel

By Thi Ha, Hoai Thu, Ngoc Tai, Son Ha   October 10, 2022 | 07:52 am PT
20% HCMC gas stations run out of fuel
A gas station on Truong Son Road, HCMC, puts up a sign that says "Temporarily closed for refilling," Oct 10, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
121 gas stations in HCMC, or 20% of the city's fuel retailers, were without fuel Monday because wholesalers couldn't replenish their inventory on time.

Many of the stations without gas are located in suburban areas, including Binh Chanh District (8), Binh Tan District (15) and Thu Duc City (21).

Most of the gas stations without any fuel in stock are moderate in size and small in scope, the HCMC Market Surveillance Department said Monday.

Meanwhile, many petroleum product suppliers have said that with retail prices falling, the more they import to sell, the more they lose.

Vu Hong Thanh, chairman of the National Assembly's Economic Committee, said during the parliament’s Standing Committee meeting Monday that some gas stations were only allowing consumers to fill their tanks with VND50,000 ($2.09) worth of fuel.

Retailers say the falling government-fixed retail prices force them to sell at a loss. They also say that they are losing VND100-300 million ($4,166-12,500) in the case of small gas stations and VND500 million at big ones due to low commissions, and might have to close for good if things do not improve this week.

Not just HCMC, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said Monday that gas stations in several southern provinces of An Giang, Dong Thap, Binh Duong and others, are also running out of fuel.

Some suppliers said importing has become difficult, while others said the recent Storm Noru has affected transportation.

Gasoline imports declined by 40% in the third quarter from the previous one, while diesel imports fell by 35%.

A quick study by VnExpress also found the situation was worsening with the number of gas stations out of stock continuing to rise as of Monday evening.

Three petrol stations within a one-kilometer radius on Nguyen Oanh Street, Go Vap District, remained shut.

Gas stations in districts 12, Binh Chanh, and Tan Binh have also run out of fuel and have yet to reopen.

However, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that the gasoline shortage was not widespread because there were a total of 17,000 gas stations in the country and just over 100 were running short.

Recently 36 retailers in HCMC complained about "problematic" management of fuel retail prices by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance, saying they were kept so low that the businesses were losing money on every liter of gasoline sold.'

Saigonese rush to gas stations amid fuel shortage on Sunday night. Video by Diep Viet, Phu Khang

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