Import taxes on petrol and oil products would be cut from the start of next year to help petrol and oil dealers overcome trading difficulties, said the Ministry of Finance.

The new rate would fall from 12 to 6 percent for petrol products and from 5 to 2 percent for kerosene and diesel oil.

The measure was aimed at reducing domestic trading losses, following a Government decision to stabilise the price of petrol and oil products by the end of the first quarter next year, said the ministry.

Petrol and oil dealers are currently operating at a loss, losing 2,400 VND per litre of petrol and 1,850-1,900 VND per litre of oil, due to an increase in the world oil price.

On the Singapore market, A92 petrol is at 95.65 USD per barrel and oil is up to 100 USD per barrel, said the Vietnam National Petroleum Corporation (Petrolimex). (1 barrel = 159 litres)

The tax cut was the latest measure the Government had taken to stabilise the domestic market with the continued increase of the world oil price, said Nguyen Tien Thoa, head of the Ministry of Finance's Price Control Department.

The government had earlier granted dealers 1,200 VND per litre of petrol from the price stabilisation fund to discourage them from increasing prices, he said.

The dealers contributed 3.6 trillion VND (172.3 million USD) to the fund by July 30, 2010 and received 1.05 trillion VND (50 million USD) for their losses.

A litre of petrol in Vietnam costs 16,400VND-16,900 VND, a litre of diesel costs 14,750 VND while a litre of kerosene is 15,100 VND and fuel oil costs 12,990 VND per litre./.