Following last week’s fuel price hike, the second in less than two months, many fishermen have left their vessels unused to avoid losses.
For illustration purposes only.
Some have even planned to sell their boats as the diesel oil priced rose by 500 dong per liter on April 20.
“With every month-long sailing trip consuming 24,000 – 25,000 liters of diesel, expenses have overrun by VND12.5 million (US$600),” laments Truong Thi Kim Loan, who runs a fishing boat in Vung Tau.
She adds that other expenses including ice, food, fishing nets, and labor costs will also soar, while productivity has slumped.
Hundreds of vessels have been docked due to the huge losses of VND100-150 million the fishermen have suffered from each of them, according to other local fishermen.
“Expenses for each fishing trip have risen by VND100 million compared to last year, but productivity is lower, and no fisherman is able to avoid losses,” says fisherman Tran Van Be.
Be thus had to sell a pair of vessel to cut losses, he adds.
Meanwhile in the central waters, many fishers say they are unhappy about the recent bumper fish harvest, as the rising fuel cost has reduced their profits.
Fishermen will return from their trips with a loss if they fail to catch an adequate amount of fish, they say.
“Even those with the largest haul can only manage to break even,” says fisherman Huynh Quang Thien.
“You may have to sell your vessels should you suffer three losing fishing trips in a row,” he laments.
Ministry bemoans fuel activities
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has recently called on the government to revise Decree no 84 on fuel trading management, as the fuel sector is suffering steep losses.
There has been public concern recently over the ministry’s management of the fuel price stabilization fund. The ministry has been criticized for not depositing money in the fund for banks to earn interest, instead leaving the money at fuel businesses.
However, in the document submitted to the government, the ministry totally ignores this public concern, instead confirming that the fund has greatly contributed to stabilizing domestic fuel prices amid the global economic turbulence.
The ministry also says that as domestic fuel prices have been increased later than their global counterparts, local fuel wholesalers have had to incur huge accumulating losses.
It adds that the price stabilization fund has an accumulated loss from fuel trading activities worth as much as VND5 trillion, which remains unsettled.
“[Fuel wholesalers] thus have to reduce commissions for general dealers and retailers, creating disorder and an instable fuel distribution system,” the ministry states.
Source: Tuoi Tre
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