The domestic retail price of petrol and oil would remain unchanged for the time being, despite the fact the global price fell last month, said Petrolimex Deputy Director Dam Thi Huyen.

She said the world prices of petrol and oil fell in May, relieving pressure on the local market.

In May, the average price on the Singapore market, the main source of imported petroleum products, fell month-on-month by 8.32 percent for diesel oil to 128.26 USD per barrel, 7.88 percent for kerosene to 127.76 USD per barrel, 5.13 percent for fuel oil to 648.91 USD per tonne and 1.27 percent for petrol to 126.23 USD per barrel.

Domestic petrol and oil dealers were now able to make a profit of 600 VND per litre of oil and cut even losses on the sale of petrol, Huyen said.

However, dealers would not be reducing retail prices because this was a chance for them to recoup losses made last year when the world price peaked, she said.

She suggested the State should instruct dealers to top up the petrol price stabilisation fund which was exhausted a few months ago after dealers claimed compensation for losses made during the price hike.

The petrol price management team had followed market fluctuations on the world market, an official from the Ministry of Finance said, but no changes would be made to import taxes or the domestic price of petrol and oil in the near future.

If the world price continues to fall, the State would increase import taxes for petrol and oil, besides instructing traders to contribute more money to the petrol price stabilisation fund, he said, adding that the final move would be to lower retail prices.

Meanwhile, economists said they expected the cost of petrol and oil to fluctuate, but they were unlikely to fall dramatically in the near future, based on the pressure on the world economy.

The domestic retail price now is 21,300 VND per litre for petrol, 21,100 VND per litre for diesel oil, 20,800 VND per litre for kerosene and 16,800 VND per litre for fuel oil, after an increase of 2,000 VND -2,800 VND per litre on March 29. /.