In the first half of the fiscal year 2020-21 (July to December 2020), oil sales shot up to 9.8 million tons, primarily due to the reopening of the economy after the first COVID-19 lockdown according to the latest data released by the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC).
This shows an increase of 12 percent, with a significant chunk of the rise coming from Motor Spirit (MS) and High-Speed Diesel (HSD), which went up 8 percent to 4.1 million tons and 13 percent to 3.7 million tons, respectively. An upsurge in the Furnace Oil (FO) demand by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) was also witnessed, which increased its sales volume by 38 percent in the period under view.
Experts familiar with the matter are of the opinion that some of this increase in demand is directly attributable to the increased trade activities, while the ensuing activities after loosening of lockdown restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19’s first wave can explain the rest.
This argument is also lent credibility by the fact that the released data shows shrinking volumes on a sequential basis, to the tune of approximately 7 percent, clocking in at 1.6 million tons in December 2020 as sales of MS and HSD went down by 3 percent to 673,000 tons and 22 percent to 622,000 tons, respectively.
Industry sales volumes showed a particular spike in the last month of the first half of the fiscal year as well, when it increased by 16 percent to 1.6 million tons, as compared to 1.4 million tons recorded in December last year.
The distribution of this increase according to different oil companies showed that the sales volumes of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) increased by 12 percent, recording at 4.5 million tons in six months under concern. PSO also enjoyed the highest market share of 45 percent in December 2020.
Hascol Petroleum Limited (HASCOL) recorded a decline of 8 percent in sales volumes to stand at 483,000 tons compared to 524,000 tons in the same six months last year.
However, Attock Petroleum Limited (APL) and Shell Pakistan Limited (SHEL) showed relatively stable sales.
APL’s volumes remained almost flat during the same period clocking in at 900,000 tons. Yearly, APL volumes decreased 16 percent in December 2020 as against 151,000 tons in December 2019. However, on a sequential basis, APL’s volume dropped 11 percent to clock in at 127,000 tons compared with 142,000 tons in November 2020.
SHEL’s volumes also remained almost flat in 1HFY21 to clock in at 739,000 tons. Whereas monthly, sales decreased 4.0 percent, reaching 131,000 tons in December compared to 137,000 tons in November 2020.
Analysts expect the industry to post better sales volumes in the future owing to increasing import-export activities, higher vehicle sales, and demand from the power sector.