I remember nearly three and a half years ago, I could fill up my motorbike on 20,000 VND ($1.25 US). It will now cost me about 60,000 VND ($3.75) to fill my motorbike. For comparisons, it now costs $4.13 US per gallon of gasoline here in Vietnam. The average per gallon price for gasoline in the US is about $3.13 US. Luckily, my motorbike goes about 75 miles/gallon so I really do not feel the pinch in regards to higher fuel prices. Still, the 10 cents US increase is affecting everyone in Vietnam now.
This latest fuel price hike caught everyone by surprise. Nobody expected. I was even surprised to see the price increase the last time I filled my motorbikes since there was no mention of it in the news. I would have filled up my motorbike before the price hike 🙂 According to this article, a shrimp farmer gave his wife enough money to buy 50 liters of fuel last weekend. Since she waited until last Tuesday to buy the fuel, she could only purchase 36 liters with the same amount of money.
Since everything is transported mainly by motorbikes, trucks, modified vehicles, etc., in Vietnam, you guessed, you are starting to see price hikes everywhere for vegetables, meat, dairy products, etc. Inflation is quite high for most Vietnamese though most Expats do not seem to really notice any difference. Not yet at least. In short, as foreigners, we are actually benefiting from the current fuel subsidization in Vietnam according to this report.
A paradox exists: the money the Government uses for petrol subsidization comes from Vietnamese people’s tax payments, and foreigners and smugglers are the beneficiaries of the subsidization. VietnamNet Bridge
The government is considering removing the fuel subsidization in the near future. Will this help the economy as the above article suggests. It is hard to tell. They only thing that people will know here is that with each fuel price increase, the price of goods they need for their livelihoods go up as well. What does not go up are their salaries.
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