Saturday April 13, 2024

Petroleum sales surge 4pc to 1.15 million tonnes in March

By Our Correspondent
April 03, 2024
Representational image of filling of a cars fuel tank. — AFP/File
Representational image of filling of a car's fuel tank. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The country has witnessed a four percent increase in the sale of petroleum products during the month of March, on the back of a slight revival of economic activities and a reduction in the smuggling of petroleum products.

According to the oil sale data, the total dispatches of petroleum products in March 2024 amounted to 1.15mn tonnes, depicting an increase of 4 percent year-on-year. The sales of petrol saw an increase of 3 percent in March 2024, clocking in at 0.57 million tonnes. Similarly, High Speed Diesel (HSD) sales volumes increased by 17 percent year-on-year, reaching 0.46 million tonnes during the same period.

However, furnace oil (FO) sales plunged by 48 percent year-on-year to 0.04 million tonnes in March 2024 amid lower dependency on FO-based power plants.

On a month-on-month basis, petroleum sales registered a growth of 3 percent during March 2024 due to fewer days in February and an increasing price trend in MS. The sales of MS rose by 5 percent month-on-month. Likewise, the offtake of HSD increased by 4 percent month-on-month in March 2024. Whereas, FO dispatches plummeted by 11 percent month-on-month.

During the first nine months of this fiscal year, sales of petroleum products decreased by 11 percent year-on-year year-on-year to 11.34 million tonnes compared to 12.80 million tonnes in the same period of last year. Product-wise data showed a fall in the volumetric sales of MS, HSD, and FO, which were clocked in at 5.30 million tonnes, 4.58 million tonnes, and 0.84 million tonnes, respectively.

The increase in year-on-year oil sales occurred after 21 months. Improvement in oil sales indicates some stability in economic activities. On a year-on-year basis, although the EX-FO sales are up 9 percent, the sales would have been even higher if there had been no smuggling of oil from Iran. As per the media, around 4,000 tonnes of oil are being smuggled every day, a Topline Research report said.

Among the listed entities, Attock Petroleum (APL) sales were clocked in at 103,000 tonnes, a 9 percent year-on-year and 8 percent month-on-month decline in March 2024. FO sales fell by 58 percent year-on-year and 9 percent month-on-month which mainly contributed to the fall in APL sales.

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) experienced a rise of 11 percent year-on-year and a 5 percent month-on-month **increase to 594,000 tonnes in March 2024. FO experienced a significant 66 percent year-on-year and 67 percent month-on-month increase in March 2024. PSO’s market share increased from 49 percet in March 2023 to 51 percent in March 2024. Shell Pakistan (SHEL) experienced a 6 percent year-on-year and a 5 percent month-on-month increase to 94,000 tonnes. HSD sales were up 8 percent year-on-year and remained flat month-on-month, and MS sales were up 1 percent year-on-year and 7 percent month-on-month in March 2024.

The brokerage house anticipates that total EX-FO sales will remain under pressure due to the smuggling of oil from Iran owing to higher local prices. Furthermore, OMC sales could further decline if the government increases the Petroleum Development Levy from Rs60/litre to Rs100/litre or imposes an 18 percent GST.