Petrol prices increased on March 29 by 2,000 VND (nearly 0.10 USD) per litre, in a surprise move by the Ministry of Finance that brought the retail price of a litre of petrol to 21,300 VND (about 1 USD).

Effective 10pm on March 29, the ministry increased diesel prices by 2,800 VND to 21,100 VND per litre, kerosene prices by 2,600 VND to 20,800 VND, and fuel oil prices by 2,000 VND to 16,800 VND.

The ministry said that the price adjustment is essential due to global oil prices that have continued to skyrocket since last month's petrol price increase on February 24, which had left domestic petrol prices lower than that of neighbouring countries by 4,800 VND to 7,000 VND per litre, driving up cross-border smuggling in the southern provinces.

After the latest hike, domestic petrol prices remain cheaper than those in Laos, China and Cambodia by 2,300 VND to 5,000 VND, according to the ministry. /.