KARACHI: The Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) has estimated low petrol sale this month at 165,000 tons compared to 173,000 tons in January 2010 due to weather conditions in Punjab.
The prolonged spell of fog in Punjab has restricted the mobility resulting in less than normal consumption of motor gasoline.
An official in the OCAC told Dawn on Thursday that the CNG load-shedding should have raised the demand of petrol but the extended duration of fog in the upcountry had nullified any increase in petrol demand.
He said people`s movement may remain slow in view of predictions of rains in the upcountry.
Petrol sale is highly dependent on two-wheelers, which account for 55 per cent of total petrol consumption but the foggy weather has also restricted the movement of bike riders.
Pakistan imported 79,989 tons of petrol in December 2010 as against 80,000 tons in November 2010. The local refineries are producing 115,000-120,000 tons of petrol per month.
An official in an oil marketing company said the overall petrol sale in December 2010 was 188,653 tons as compared to 183,883 tons in November 2010.
He said 38,000 tons of imported petrol arrived on Thursday which was five days late of the original arrival date. Another 40,000 tons will arrive on January 30 or 31.
An official in Pakistan State Oil (PSO) said the company planned to import only 30,000 tons of petrol in February as the industry was expecting some improvement production by the local refineries besides lesser number of working days.
He said due to price increase in the first few days of this month, the petrol sale had declined by 50 per cent from the average 6,000 tons per day. After the price revision the sales again normalised.
He was of the view that the industry sales may remain a little lower in the current month over December 2010.
Import of petrol had hit a record of 125,734 tons in October 2010 as compared to 117,734 tons in September 2010.
Total petrol imports from September 2007 to December 2010 stood at 1,583,720 tons. The OCAC official said imported petrol was costlier by Rs2 to Rs6 per litre depending on the international price and also due to difference in formula given to refineries as compared to import formula.