The country spent 75 million USD to import 70,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas in February, the General Statistic Office said on Feb. 27.

Accrued during the first two months of the year, total imports reached 142,000 tonnes, worth 142 million USD, a rise of 216.5 percent in value and 203.6 percent in volume over the same period last year.

The import of such a surging volume was said to be unexplainable, because when gas prices on the world market were low, domestic traders imported only 35,000 tonnes. By the time gas prices spiked again, imports doubled.

Minister of Finance Vuong Dinh Hue said the proposal of the Vietnam Gas Association to reduce the import tax on gas from 5 to 2 percent will be considered.

Also in the two months, the domestic retail price rose by more than 70,000 VND (3.3 USD) for a 12-kilogram container. The cause of the increase, gas retailers said, was the rising world prices.

The gas price on the world market was estimated at over 1,000 USD per tonne, higher than January's import price of 921 USD per tonne and up against the average import price of 802 USD late last year.-VNA