Gasoline stations close down in droves in two southern provinces

By Ngoc Tai, Thi Ha   September 8, 2022 | 06:34 pm PT
Gasoline stations close down in droves in two southern provinces
Market authorities examine inventory at a fuel station in An Giang Province on September 7, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Khanh
Dozens of gasoline stations have downed shutters in the southern provinces of An Giang and Dong Thap with owners saying there is a supply shortage.

Market authorities in An Giang found 21 stations closed Wednesday, with 19 saying they’d no diesel left and two others reporting the same thing about gasoline.

Another three shut down without citing any reason, and local officials have asked them to return their business permits if they do not plan to continue operations.

Around 20 station owners have said that they have ceased operations due to low commissions, loss or sickness.

In Dong Thap, some stations have shut down because supply is too low. Some owners have said they are too old to operate the facility.

Hong Phong, chairman of Petrolimex An Giang – which has 26% of the province’s fuel market – said at a recent meeting that when fuel prices drop, distributors often dump most of their inventory to reduce loss.

Then, when prices surge suddenly, as has happened globally recently, the distributors do not have enough inventory to sell, which causes a partial shortage in the market.

Another concern for gasoline station operators is low or zero commission, which is given by importers to retailers. When the importers buy at higher global prices but sell at the government mandated lower price in Vietnam, the cut back on the commissions given.

Nguyen Ngoc Thoi, a fuel distributor, said stations have been getting zero commission recently because of surging global fuel prices and the lack of a corresponding rise in local prices.

"We sell for no profit and still have to pay transportation costs. If this continues, we won’t be able to make up for the losses we’ve suffered."

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