KARACHI: Pakistan made a record import of 178,199 tons of petrol in June 2012 to meet surging demand, figures of Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) revealed.
The previous highest petrol import was 162,924 tons recorded in June 2011. Petrol import during July-June 2011-2012 rose to 1.578 million tons as compared to 1.060 million tons in July-June 2010-2011.
According to OCAC figures, the total import of petrol from July 2008 till June 2012 stood at 3.616 million tons.
Local production of petrol during July-June 2011-2012 stood almost same at 1.2 million tons as compared to July-June 2010-2011.
Based on the above import and local production, the consumption of petrol in Pakistan has exceeded 2.7 million tons in 2011-2012 as compared to 2.28 million tons in July-June 2010-2011.
Weekly and unannounced closure of CNG stations, increase in production of automobiles and used car imports, rising generators’ import etc., are some of the main reasons in pushing up petrol demand.
Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association Chairman Abdul Sami Khan said petrol demand would increase further as petrol prices were on the decline amid falling trend on international markets and shrinking price difference with CNG.
He said that Iranian petrol was also arriving mainly in border areas of Pakistan but its arrival was very low in Karachi. However, falling petrol price would further discourage illegal arrival of smuggled Iranian petrol.
Sale of locally assembled cars in 2011-2012 is set to cross 150,000 units as compared to 127,944 units in 2010-2011. Import of used cars is also thriving. All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association Chairman H.M. Shahzad said that import of used cars soared to around 50,000 units in July-June 2011-2012 as compared to 11,304 units in 2010-2011.
A refinery official said that around 55-60 per cent of total petrol is consumed by two-wheelers whose production has hit 1.6 million units a year. Three-wheelers CNG rickshaw owners also maintain petrol reserves for running their vehicles on the day of CNG load-shedding.