Only 20-30 out of 16,000 filling stations nationwide have stopped selling petrol amid reports that fuel was running out, which has prompted people to rush to buy petrol for hoarding.
When reporting the fuel supply at a meeting on February 22, 2022, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) said the information needs to be provided in a way so as to create consensus in public opinion, and not cause anxiety and market chaos.
HCM City has 548 filling stations, and only eight stations stopped selling fuel for only one to two days. However, the information was reported as a large scale stoppage.
There are 16,000 filling stations throughout the country, and only 20-30 stations stopped selling temporarily. However, the figure was exaggerated, causing misunderstanding that fuel was running out. As a result, people rushed to buy petrol, resulting in a supply-demand imbalance and threat to fire prevention and control.
MOIT said at the filling stations belonging to large distributors such as Petrolimex and PV Oil, which hold 95 percent of market share, sales have been maintained with no interruption.
In some southern localities, including Hau Giang, Can Tho, An Giang, Long An, Ca Mau, HCM City and Dong Nai, some filling stations stopped selling petrol. Soon after receiving reports from localities, MOIT contacted petroleum distributors and asked to provide fuel to the retailers.
Regarding fuel supply, Nghi Son Oil Refinery reported that because of financial problems, the refinery has had to cut production capacity. It’s now running at 55-60 percent of capacity.
The deliveries to petroleum distributors in February decreased by 43 percent (it initially planned to deliver 680,000 cubic meters, but delivered 390,000 cubic meters. The delivery of petrol decreased by 18 percent and DO by 57 percent).
It’s expected that Nghi Son will provide 80 percent of monthly plan in March (it initially planned to deliver 680,000 cubic meters, but may deliver 540,000 cubic meters only – 50 percent cut for petrol and 30 percent for DO).
The oil refinery is expected to run at 100 percent capacity from mid-March to the end of May, but there is still no plan on delivering fuel to distributors in April and May. It’s still unclear about the production maintaining capability after May.
In 2021, Nghi Son produced 6.7 million cubic meters of petroleum products, which accounted for 34 percent of total petroleum consumption of the country.
According to Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical JSC, as domestic fuel supply has decreased recently. Binh Son refinery increased its capacity to 103 percent in late January and to 105 percent on February 7. The refinery will provide 300,000 cubic meters of petrol and 300,000 cubic meters of DO each month.
However, the 5 percent increase in supply (28,000 cubic meters) is not enough to offset the supply decrease from Nghi Son. In 2021, Binh Son put out 7.2 million cubic meter, which accounted for 35.7 percent of total consumption.
According to MOIT, the inventories at key enterprises in February are 1.3 million cubic meters, including 620,000 cubic meters of petrol and 650,000 cubic meters of DO. There are also inventories at distributors and sales agents.
The purchase in February to supply to the market is estimated at 2.39 million cubic meters, including 990,000 cubic meters from domestic sources and 1.4 million cubic meters from imports.
MOIT affirms that supply is enough to satisfy demand, 1.8-2 million cubic meters of different kinds a month.
The reports from key fuel distributors show that their inventory on February 20 was 1.2 million cubic meters, including 500,000 cubic meters of petrol and 700,000 cubic meters of DO. It is expected that 650,000 cubic meters of petroleum products will be imported from now until the end of 2022 to satisfy demand.
In March, domestic supply will still be low compared with other months. However, with the inventories carried forward from February, and with imports as well as domestic production increases at oil refineries (Nghi Son plans to run at 85 percent capacity from March 15 and 100 percent capacity from early April), the supply will be sufficient.
MOIT said that local supply shortages will be settled soon.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has consulted with the Ministries of Finance and Planning and Investment over a plan to auction more than 100 million liters of RON92 gasoline, which is used to produce bio-fuel E5, in the national reserves.
Domestic petrol prices have hit an eight-year record high following the latest price adjustments made on February 21, dealing a heavy blow to ongoing recovery efforts of firms that have borne the brunt of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.