Imports of petrol halve in February

Updated March 11, 2018

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Motorcyclists wait in line at a fuel station in this file photo. The market share of locally produced petrol is 38pc while imported fuel holds 62pc share.—Reuters
Motorcyclists wait in line at a fuel station in this file photo. The market share of locally produced petrol is 38pc while imported fuel holds 62pc share.—Reuters

KARACHI: The country’s petrol imports dipped to around 250,000 tonnes in February — almost half of the quantity that arrived every month previously.

According to the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC), import of RON 92 stood at only 247,180 tonnes while 2,498 tonnes of RON 95 had landed at the port.

Imports of petrol, which began from May 2007, had been continuously hitting new peak following rising demand in view of surging two-, three- and four-wheeler sales, huge imports of used cars and CNG loadshedding.

Currently, out of the total sales, share of locally produced petrol is 38pc while imported fuel holds 62pc share.

Petrol sales in February were recorded at 527,000 tonnes, a four per cent increase year-on-year and 11pc decrease month-on-month (MoM). Total petrol sales in July-February 2017-18 rose by 13pc to 4.9 million tonnes.

Petrol imports had remained brisk and 400,000- 550,000 tonnes had been arriving every month from July to February 2017-18. Total imports – including RON 92, 95 and 97 – in July-February 2017-18 stood at 3.4m tonnes.

In 2016-17, total imports of RON 87, 92, 95 and 97 were registered at 4.88m tonnes. Some 350,000-450,000 tonnes of the fuel arrived per month in 2016-17.

Total petrol imports in 2015-16 were 4.14m tonnes in which per month imports remained at 300,000-400,000 tonnes. Imports in 2014-15 were 3.12m tonnes in which per month imports hovered 189,000-349,000 tonnes.

Pakistan achieved highest import record of 549,968 tonnes in September 2017 while highest sales record of 684,440 tonnes was witnessed in August 2017.

Giving reasons for low import of petrol in February 2018, CEO Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC), Ilyas Fazil told Dawn that while imports had arrived as planned, they could not be fully discharged at the port, and almost 220,000 tonnes were waiting at port at month-end; this volume would carry over into March 2018.

He said the lower than anticipated sales during February (by 11pc) as compared to January impacted ullage in storages of oil marketing companies (OMCs), causing slower discharge at the port. There was no other reason than this, he added.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2018