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Vietnam considers allowing fuel price adjustment every 5 days

HANOI, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam considers a new price mechanism to adjust fuel prices every five days instead of the current 10-day cycle to address a number of issues that resulted in sporadic fuel shortages across the country in recent months, local media reported Thursday.

This would help solve the discrepancy between fuel prices in domestic and international markets and be more in sync with fuel trading activities, the local newspaper Vietnam News reported, citing local experts and traders.

It's not possible for traders to sustain the current 10-day cycle as prices continued to fluctuate almost daily in the international market, Vietnamese economist Vu Vinh Phu said.

"We must start making the transition to a full market-driven mechanism, one in which prices can be adjusted every five days or even every day. It's in the best interests of all stakeholders including traders, retailers and consumers," he said.

Shorter price cycles, three to five days at most, were only the first step in bringing domestic fuel prices to the same level as the international market, eliminating a delay that encourages some traders to hold onto their stocks to wait for higher prices, the newspaper said.

A recent fuel shortage in Vietnam's major cities including Ho Chi Minh City and the capital Hanoi has seen a number of gas stations shut down or on limited sales.