02 Jul Rising Oil Crises in Pakistan
Many industries, especially tourism and travel that includes all kinds of Rental Car Services and public transports, have been affected by the coronavirus throughout the world. and there is no exception in Pakistan.
Pakistan may have to face a lack of petroleum goods if oil refineries decide to cut the production because of cheaper imports by Pakistan State Oil (PSO), prompting negative margins.
The government has been informed by the oil refineries that they have confronted inventory losses worth Rs31 billion in March and April following lockdowns that shook worldwide oil markets.
Oil refineries also informed the government that shutdown or slowdown of any oil refinery plant in the country would have genuine ramifications including products lack/dry outs, port imperatives, and overwhelming strain on the country’s valuable foreign trade because of import substitution.
This is also fundamental for keeping up the energy security of the country and taking into account the defense energy needs indigenously.
Oil prices in Pakistan
Background conversations with industry sources uncovered that oil refinery plants had the government to either freeze ex-refinery cost of May for upcoming months or announce fortnightly costs. Oil refinery plants predict a real shortage of petroleum goods in the coming months of 2020 because of different issues.
The normal expense and cargo rough cost for the month of May for Pakistan Refinery (PRL) was well over $28 per barrel and for different oil refinery plants it was about $25 per barrel but this cost is expected to significantly increase as the current costs are well over $30 per barrel. The current MS cost has multiplied since the PSO import and diesel cost has also improved by 30%.
If the ex-refinery cost dependent on imports by PSO is taken, then the costs of petroleum and diesel would be less contrasted with the current higher prices of petroleum and diesel.
Keeping in view this condition, oil refinery plants will try their best to work at the minimum throughput to cut losses and not to sell products at the massively negative margins.
Different organizations are probably not going to import items at a much higher cost to sell at Rs19 per liter and the same is the situation for high-speed diesel.
PSO may import and take losses yet they have a system that will require some investment of time. Consequently, there is a chance of a real shortage in the country, and as a result businesses like tourism, rent a car company, and other industries that consume oil will be the most affected ones. The government should know and needs to take important actions.
The first alternative is to freeze the ex-refinery cost of May for the upcoming months of 2020. This will urge oil refinery plants to work and sell items. However, contingent upon the global product cost there will still be a chance whether merchants will import.
Another alternative is to declare the upcoming month’s half price dependent on the real normal IPP cost of the last fortnight. For the second half of the month, again the cost should be founded on the genuine IPP cost of the last fortnight. This is probably the most practical alternative.
Oil refinery plants said that the business condition of the country during the last two years had stayed very challenging and upsetting for the oil refining division in Pakistan.
The exceptional depreciation of rupee against the dollar, overall decrease in sales of petrol goods particularly furnace oil sales and its cost because of change in its detail by International Maritime Organization 2020 (IMO-2020) for shipping lines, the low need of fuel oil in power segment and weak universal costs have been the significant contributors of the financial challenges of the oil refinery plants; in this way, the survival of the whole business is in question.
Effects of Covid-19
The spread of Covid-19 has had a meltdown impact on worldwide crude oil and item costs and has seriously affected the oil refinery segment in Pakistan and overall bringing about marked down sales and a steep decrease in oil costs.
Before Covid-19, Pakistan oil refinery plants were carrying gigantic inventories gained at higher rates and then costs fell suddenly, which prompted monstrous stock losses to the local oil refinery plants during the most recent two months adding up to Rs31 billion.