Hanoi filling stations out of gasoline, again

By Anh Minh, Minh Son, Phuong Anh   October 30, 2022 | 06:45 pm PT
Hanoi filling stations out of gasoline, again
A motorbike driver leaves a fuel station in Hanoi on October 30, 2022 as there was no gasoline for sale. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Hoan
A number of private gas stations in Hanoi have run out of stocks and say they are unable to buy more from suppliers who are also reporting shortages.

Nguyen of Tay Ho District tried to find a filling station Sunday afternoon but saw two on Thuy Khue Road with signs saying they had only diesel and not gasoline.

Another on the same road only sold to motorbikes and not cars since it had limited stocks.

An employee said: "We have been waiting for almost 24 hours for new supply. Cars consume more fuel and we do not want to run out of inventory before the new delivery comes."

Another station in Tay Ho operated by HFC Company was barricaded, with employees saying "There is no inventory left."

In Ha Dong District, a gas station belonging to Nam Trieu was out of stocks Sunday morning, and delivery was only expected at 11 p.m. since the truck had broken down, employees said.

At another station in the locality, an employee said: "We have been out of stocks for the last few days and do not know when new delivery will come."

Fuel stations in Hanoi are reporting shortages once again after several outlets stopped selling temporarily two weeks ago.

The director of a fuel retail chain in Hanoi with 20 outlets, who asked not be named, told VnExpress that buying fuel has been very difficult lately with distributors for many years saying they themselves face shortages.

"Selling fuel has never been this difficult. We can only buy enough to sell for a short time. We are trying to keep the business running but do not know when we will last."

Tung, who owns a filling station in Ha Dong, said it is closed since its distributor only provided enough stocks for a day and claimed not to have more.

Government-owned retailer Petrolimex has not been affected by the shortage, and in fact has seen sales rise by 20% in recent weeks amid private gas stations’ struggles.

Some fuel suppliers said banks have exhausted their credit quotas and could not provide them with more loans to buy stocks.

But the State Bank of Vietnam said the problem lies with the businesses themselves and their inefficiency and not banks, and there is still credit quotas.

Ministries have been providing contradictory information about the fuel shortage.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien said earlier in October that the total fuel available was three million cubic meters, enough to meet demand until the end of November, and refineries were continuing to produce and fuel companies were continuing to import.

But Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc said there is indeed a shortage and businesses are failing to import as planned.

In the third quarter imports fell by 40% year-on-year.

The fuel market in Vietnam is regulated by both the trade and finance ministries, but the latter has called on the government to let the trade ministry take over to resolve the issue.

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