ISLAMABAD: Imports of the petroleum group dipped nearly 25.94 per cent year-on-year in October owing to the sharp reduction in demand as a result of the slowing down of the economy coupled with the highest-ever inflation.

The highest-ever increase in prices also contributed to lower consumption of petroleum products.

Data compiled by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed the imports of petroleum products declined by 36.67pc in value during October and 46.86pc in quantity. Import of crude oil decreased 22.92pc in quantity while the value increased 1.93pc.

Similarly, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports fell by 37.54pc during October on a year-on-year basis. This would have translated into relatively lower power production through LNG — a replacement for furnace oil.

On the other hand, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports jumped 42.13pc.

Between July-October FY23, total oil imports fell 2.31pc to $6.05 billion during 4MFY23, from $6.19bn in the same period last year.

The PBS is yet to release October data for local production of petroleum but figures from the first three months showed a decrease in local production. The local production of petroleum products dipped 24.4pc in September of the current fiscal year from a year ago.

The fall in imports of crude oil also translated into lower production of petroleum products by local refineries.

However, exports of petroleum products, as well as petroleum crude, posed growth during October from a year ago. Pakistan exported 59,830 tonnes of petroleum products while the export of petroleum crude stood at 12,127 tonnes during the month under review against no exports last year month.

However, exports of naphtha and solid fuel (coal) declined during the month under review.

The PBS data for the first four months of the current fiscal year showed the output of all 11 petroleum products was lower by 18.9pc than the same period last year. The production of two major oil products — petrol and high-speed diesel mostly used in the transport sector and agriculture — was down 13.7pc and 25.5pc respectively.

The production of furnace oil was also down by almost 13.9pc during the first four months of the current fiscal year, compared to the same period last year, but this could be attributed to its declining share in power generation. Jet (airline) fuel output was up by 41.2pc and that of Jute batching oil by 30.4pc.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2022

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