The retail price of petroleum products yesterday officially decreased on June 21, according to a decision taken by the Ministries of Industry and Trade, and Finance due to the recent slump in global figures.

As a result, the price of RON 92 unbaded petrol went down by 700 to 21,200 VND (nearly 1 USD) per litre while the diesel price has reduced by 400 to 20,100 VND per litre.

The kerosene price shrank by 350 to 20,050 VND per litre and the mazut oil price slipped 300 to 17,950 VND per kilogramme. The two ministries decided to maintain the contribution of petrol companies at 300 VND per litre/kilogramme to the petrol price stabilisation fund.

The move stemmed from the fact that most petrol importers made a profit of 1,400 VND per litre due to crude oil prices on the global market fell by 20 percent in less than two months, hitting around 98 USD per barrel.

Due to high profits, importers offered high commission to retailers, ranging from 550 to 900 VNDper litre, to promote sales.

Meanwhile, on the same day distributors yesterday raised gas prices by roughly 12,000 VND (0.57 USD) to around 351,000 VND per 12kg canister following the Ministry of Finance's decision to re-impose a 5 percent import tax the previous day.

The distributors include MT Gas, Petrolimex Sai Gon, Sai Gon Petro and Gas SP, amongst others.

Do Trung Thanh, deputy director of Sai Gon Petro's business department, attributed the price hike to higher import tax, saying the new prices were calculated based on total costs.

The MoF re-imposed the import tax as global prices fell. The 5 percent tariff was brought back in a bid to help balance the State budget, according to a ministerial report.

In March this year, the Government reduced the tax from 5 to zero percent in order to help businesses and the public cope with fuel price hikes.

However, since April, gas prices have been falling, a trend expected to continue this month.

In early April, retail gas prices on the local market stood at 405,000-416,000 VND (19.29-19.81 USD) per 12kg canister.-VNA