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Petrol retailers demand major changes

Retail petroleum businesses have asked to stop contributing to the petrol price stabilisation fund, increasing the commission to reduce losses and permanently withdrawing the licence of unprofitable retailers.

On August 29, a total of 25 retail petroleum businesses in HCM City signed a document with recommendations sent to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the HCM City's People's Committee, the city Department of Industry and Trade and related bodies outlining their concerns.

The 25 co-signees asked if the petroleum stabilisation fund in the period was working effectively. For the fund, petroleum companies must contribute VND500 for every litre of gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and related products sold.

The businesses consider that the commission per litre of petrol of only up to VND200 is insufficient for such contribution and to maintain business activities. At the same time, the cost of space, transportation, warehousing, staff, electricity and water has remained high.

The document said petrol and oil retailers had suffered heavy losses, adding: "The more we sell, the more we lose. But as the dealer, we still have to sell gasoline because if we close, the authorities will withdraw our licences."

As a result, they suggested that the State withdraws from the petrol price stabilisation fund because it was not in line with the Government's purposes and led to unstable in price management.

The document also asked about the regulation to keep private retail stores with continuous losses from closing their businesses.

"The State needs to permanently withdraw the licence of companies that do not comply with regulations on energy security," the businesses proposed.

Regarding the retail price mechanism, the enterprise recommends that the focal enterprise discount the commission by at least VND600-800 per litre for retail stores to maintain operations and shorten the price management time within 24 hours, including holidays.

Currently, each retail business can only sign a contract with one key enterprise when there is an incident, and the retailer is not permitted to take goods from another.

Therefore, these businesses proposed to the authorities to let retail stores sign contracts with many key companies to increase competitiveness and ensure demand is met.

August 30, the Vietnam Petroleum Association asked the MoIT to increase the gasoline prices on September 1 to ensure supply and reduce difficulties for businesses.

The association said that the total domestic petroleum supply was still sufficient to meet consumer demand, despite world price of petroleum products continuing to increase, especially for diesel products.

It forecast petrol prices would increase sharply as currently, the average cost of finished gasoline in the Singapore market is higher than the retail price of petrol in the country, about VND 150-300 per litre.

Since the beginning of the year, the domestic petrol price has undergone 22 adjustments, including 13 increases and eight decreases. The retail gasoline price is currently the same as at the end of January.

During the most recent operating period, the gasoline price remained unchanged while the oil price was adjusted. Accordingly, gasoline E5 RON 92 remains the same, and the selling price will not exceed VND23,725 per litre, with the RON95 gasoline price kept at VND24,669 per litre. — VNS

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