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‘Diesel stocks sufficient; more cargoes on way’

By Our Correspondent
April 26, 2022

KARACHI: Ample inventory of petroleum products including diesel is available in the country, while cargoes are waiting off-port, industry officials said on Monday, advising against any panic-buying.

“It’s mainly because of the fact that refineries are producing higher amounts of fuels, while OMCs (oil marketing companies) planning importing them to meet volume commitments on time, despite the limited availability in world markets,” said Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC), in a statement.

“Since HSD sales have drastically soared in the country due to the harvesting season, OCAC is actively playing its role to effectively manage the surged demand in consultation with the industry, OGRA and Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division).”

Pertaining to the details for uninterrupted fuel supply in the country, cargoes carrying sufficient HSD volumes are already waiting off-port and will be discharged on their due turn, while other planned cargoes are expected to arrive soon, according to the OCAC statement.

“Similarly, Motor Gasoline reserves are sufficient to meet the demand of the country, while additional volumes are coming in through planned imports,” it added. Dr Nazir Abbas Zaidi, Secretary General OCAC, said Pakistan was an energy-deficient country; therefore, deficit in fuel supplies was catered through imports.

“As a result of constantly increasing imports volume and infrastructure constraints, there are challenges at ports owing to congestion/bunching of vessels, etc.” However, Zaidi said OCAC was effectively striving to handle these challenges in collaboration with OGRA by suggesting recommendations to ensure the fuel supplies remained streamlined.

“Hence, it is vital to avert uncertainty and abnormal buying patterns amidst ambiguous speculations,” he added. Pakistan State Oil (PSO) in a separate statement on Monday said it had arranged five additional HSD cargoes from March till May 2022.

The state-owned OMC said these measures were taken in view of the increasing demand of diesel, mainly due to harvesting season and limited product availability/imports by other market players.

“These cargoes are over and above the 11 cargoes planned in accordance with PSO’s usual market share as committed by PSO during the Product Review Meeting chaired by Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA),” it added.

In April 2022, PSO has sold around 120 million liters i.e. 100,000 tonnes additional diesel, equivalent to two import cargoes. As of April 21, 2022, the company attained a market share of 57.4 percent against historical monthly market share of 49.7 percent. “We have plenty of stocks available in the supply chain to meet the increasing demand. All our import cargoes are arriving smoothly as per plan, and despite the sudden pressure on PSO's supply chain, our teams are working 24x7 to ensure we meet the nation's fuel needs,” the stated-owned OMC said.

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