KARACHI: State-owned Pakistan State Oil (PSO) will import four motor gasoline cargoes weighing 180,000 tons for coming March as it is anticipating revival in fuel demand following the lifting of lockdown, it was learnt on Friday.
PSO invited bids for supply of four motor gasoline cargoes of 45,000 metric tons each in March.
“Going forward, we expect the industry volumes to make a new high in lieu with the upcoming government projects, demand from independent power producers and higher automobile sales,” Muhammad Rafay, analyst at Pearl Securities said.
“The second wave of COVID-19 is likely to restrict the growth in oil sales volumes in case of any lockdown or restriction on trading and business activities in the country,” Rafay said.
Sales of petroleum products increased 11 percent to clock in at 8.1 million tons in the July-November period. Major contributors during the period were motor gasoline and high speed diesel with sales of 3.4 and 3.1 million tons, respectively.
The market leader PSO’s sales increased 10 percent to 3.8 million tons in the first five months of the current fiscal year with motor gasoline and high speed diesel being the contributors.
PSO has floated several tenders in the recent past to procure petroleum products to ensure ample availability of fuel and avert shortage that had haunted people.
The company also opted for spot buying of liquefied natural gas after a gap of three years.
There has been a sharp spike in demand for gas as the demand-supply gap is expected to be greater on the back of higher consumption and diminishing indigenous supply.
A couple of months back, people were seen flocking at the petrol stations that ran dry amid lockdown-driven transportation shortage and significant reduction in domestic oil prices.
An inquiry commission constituted after the June petroleum crisis blamed the oil marketing companies for hoarding, creating artificial shortage and for not sending petrol upcountry. They failed to maintain a 20-day mandatory petrol stock due to insufficient storage capacity.
“The requisite stock of 20 days was not being maintained by 90 percent of the oil marketing companies,” the 15-member commission said in a report.
The commission also termed the shortage partly due to closure of border neighbouring Iran following the novel coronavirus outbreak.
This badly affected the entire supply chain of petroleum products in Pakistan, according to the commission.
Source: The News