Ministry cuts petroleum imports

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 09:32

The Chan May petroleum storage port provides petroleum for provinces in the central region. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has decided to reduce the petroleum import quota for this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has decided to reduce the petroleum import quota for this year to approximately seven million tonnes from the earlier 9.115 million tonnes.

All of the 18 domestic firms eligible for petroleum imports saw a sharp decrease in the petroleum import quota compared with the level set earlier this year.

Specifically, the Viet Nam National Petroleum Corp (Petrolimex) received the largest import quota reduction from 5.18 million tonnes to 4.396 million tonnes. It was followed by PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PV Oil), with 591,000 tonnes.

Of note, PV Oil's petrol import quota was 27,000 tonnes, accounting for 10 per cent of the initial assignment.

Several firms such as the Aviation Petroleum Company, Nam Viet Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals Company, the Military Petroleum Corp (MPEC), and Dong Phuong Petroleum Company also saw their import quotas on mazut lowered to zero.

Under the current regulations, petroleum importers will not be allowed to import below the assigned levels.

Vo Van Quyen, head of the ministry's Domestic Market Department, told Dau tu (Viet Nam Investment Review) that the decreasing import quota was attributable to a reduction in petroleum demand or increase in the number of businesses buying petrol from Dung Quat Refinery Plant.

Statistics from the General Department of Customs showed that the country imported seven million tonnes of petroleum, with a turnover of US$6.6 billion, last year. In 2012, the import total amounted to 8.9 million tonnes. Economist Ngo Tri Long told the newspaper that the import quota was assigned to traders based on petroleum consumption in the previous year.

However, Long said the import quota also depended on the economy. The decreasing quota revealed that the economy is still facing difficulties.

The petrol price stabilisation fund stood at VND170 billion ($8.09 million) by the end of last year, said the Ministry of Finance.

The figures revealed by the ministry on Wednesday showed that around VND100 billion ($4.76 million) was added to the fund after retail petrol prices rose for a period of 20 days last month.

Ten of the 17 petroleum wholesalers reported a balance of nearly VND600 billion ($28.57 million). Of note, Petrolimex and MPEC, which have large market shares, showed a balance of VND135 billion ($6.43 million) and VND308 billion ($14.67 million) respectively. It was estimated that Viet Nam consumed 1 million tonnes of petrol each month. — VNS

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