KARACHI: Sales of petroleum products plunged 40 per cent on a year-on-year basis to 1.3 million tonnes in May, latest data released by the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) showed.
Major reasons for the drop in consumption was a surge in petroleum prices, overall economic slowdown, availability of smuggled petroleum products from Iran and a reduction in furnace oil-based power generation, said Muhammad Iqbal Jawaid, analysts at Arif Habib Ltd.
The offtake of petrol plummeted 24pc from a year ago to 0.6m tonnes last month while that of diesel decreased 36pc to 0.54m tonnes.
Similarly, sales of furnace oil, which is consumed in power generation units, declined 80pc year-on-year to 0.09m tonnes.
Compared with the volumes recorded in the preceding month of April, petroleum sales in May grew 11pc amid higher consumption of diesel in the harvesting season as well as a revival of demand for petrol and diesel owing to a recent drop in prices, said Mr Jawaid.
The first 11 months of 2022-23 saw the sales of total petroleum products tumble by more than one-quarter year-on-year to 15.26m tonnes, with all fuel categories registering declines.
A company-wise analysis showed that the offtake recorded by Pakistan State Oil Company Ltd (PSO) went down 51pc year-on-year in May on the back of reduced sales in petrol (down 33pc), diesel (down 40pc) and furnace oil (down 96pc) on a yearly basis. Likewise, sales by Attock Petroleum Ltd and Shell Pakistan Ltd declined 42pc and 45pc from a year ago.
Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2023