(EnergyAsia, April 27, Friday) — Vietnam has lifted state controls over gasoline and diesel prices sold in the country with effect from April 6.


State-owned Vietnam Petroleum Import-Export Company (Petrolimex) said the move will allow domestic fuel prices to be aligned with international market forces. Consumers will benefit as they will enjoy competitive pricing, ready supply and higher quality products.


Some dealers had complained that artificially low prices stifled supply as traders had no incentive to sell to the domestic markets.


But others complained that Petrolimex still controlled the market as it owned more than 60% of the national distribution network.


Hanoi had lifted fuel price controls partially in July 2004 with a mechanism that permitted private enterprises to determine selling prices as long as they were not 10% higher or lower than the level set by the state.


Such practices however often led to uncertainties over supply conditions and inefficiencies in the marketplace.