Domestic fuel retail prices would remain unchanged despite decreasing global prices, according to Vo Van Quyen, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)'s Domestic Market Department.

Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on November 4, Quyen said the drop in global prices was not enough for local fuel traders to reduce retail prices.

He said the ministry would always lower prices if there was the opportunity to do so, and try to keep rates steady if the global price rose. The official added that the ministry would ensure local prices follow the global market while curbing inflation.

He said the amended Decree No 84/2009/ND-CP on petrol trading was drafted to make the market more transparent while controlling and enhancing competitiveness.

The Ministry of Finance said that 70 percent of petrol in the local market was imported, so retail prices depended heavily on global fluctuations.

It also said that the management of petrol prices was based on a market mechanism controlled by the Government that stabilised prices when needed using the price stabilisation fund and taxes.

Contributed by the 12 petroleum wholesale distributors, the price stabilisation fund was reported to be sitting at 58.6 billion VND (2.7 million USD) at the end of September, after rising over 3 billion VND (141,911 USD), the Ministry of Finance stated on its website.

Currently, the reference price of gasoline is 24,084 VND per litre, while the retail price is around 23,880 VND per litre. Similarly, each litre of diesel and kerosene is now sold for 22,310 VND and 22,020 VND, while their reference prices are 22,902 VND and 22,934 VND respectively.

Last month, crude oil productivity was estimated at 1.38 million tonnes, a decrease of 4.3 percent from last October. Gas productivity also fell 4.7 percent to 0.65 billion cu.m due to falling demand.-VNA