KARACHI: Gas curtailment has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for oil marketing companies as petrol sales stood at record high of 250,000 tons, up massive 15.5% from the pervious high of 217,000 tons recorded in the preceding month.
Sales have jumped 33.4% from last year sales, while product contribution in the sales mix has increased to 14% against 10% in the same period last year, according to a Topline Securities research note.
It is estimated that approximately 20% of the overall petrol demand is being driven by power shortage which has forced consumers to use petrol as a backup fuel for electricity generation, adds note.
However, the country’s overall oil sales declined by 1.4% to 1.8 million tons in July 2011 against 1.9 million tons in the same period last year.
Furnace oil and high speed diesel sales pulled the total oil sales down, said Topline Securities analyst Nauman Khan.
Furthermore, country’s reliance on imported sources remained high around 64% while only 34% was met through local sources.
Company wise data show that Pakistan State Oil and Shell Pakistan sales declined by 9.5% and 18.7% on account of higher exposure to furnace oil and high speed diesel markets, respectively. Contrary to industry trend, Attock Petroleum sales picked up by 26% to 139,000 tons on account of higher weight-age of petrol in its product mix.
Furnace oil sales continue to be adversely affected by the notorious circular debt, says the note. Sales fell 5.2 per cent to 842,000 tons compared with 888,000 tons in the same period last year.
Moreover, sales plummeted by 12.6% amid better hydel generation as heavy rains in the northern parts rendered into higher water availability for power generation, adds the note.
High speed diesel sales also remained subdued and stood at 625,000 tons in July, down 5.9% compared with the same period last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.