Petrol stations “hoarding” face strict punishments

Thursday, May 28, 2020 15:54

A petrol station on Ha Noi's Luong Yen Street. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet

The Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has requested checks on petrol stations which reported a lack of petrol and those found to have been “hoarding goods” to wait for price increases be strictly punished.

Recently, a number of petrol stations have seen a shortage of petrol, while buyers could only buy a maximum amount set by these stations. Some stations also announced they had ran out of petrol and temporarily closed.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on Wednesday sent a dispatch to relevant authorities to ensure petrol supply.

Cao Hoai Duong, general director of PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PVOIL), said they have always ensured sufficient petrol supply for agents according to signed contracts.

However, petrol agents often buy petrol from difference sources to maximise profits.

Agents buy only 50 to 70 per cent of their total petrol amount from a wholesaler while the remaining would be bought from others with better prices.

Petrol prices have been on an upward trend following the increase in the world market. Agents have found it hard to buy petrol from other sources at low prices.

A representative of Binh Son Refinery (BSR) said the company has increased capacity to the highest level to meet increasing demand.

Tran Duy Dong, director of the ministry’s Domestic Market Department, said the total supply of petroleum for the local market was sufficient. The stock shortage was due to the strong increase in demand after a period of social distancing due to COVID-19 and people buying before petrol prices increase sharply again.

“The department has asked to supplement petrol supply at locations which face a shortage. We would implement strict punishments for traders, distributors and wholesalers stopping sales and waiting for price increase,” he said.

The ministry has also required traders to actively find petrol supply resources to ensure production and business activities.

MoIT asked the Nghi Son Refinery and Binh Son Refinery to increase productivity and complete maintenance soon to ensure supply.

Market Watch Departments would check petrol stations to prevent hoarding. — VNS

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