Petrol prices feared to surge again

Pakistan's oil import bill increased up to almost 103pc in July-August FY22

The price of petrol is likely to be increased by Rs7 per litre and high speed diesel (HSD) by Rs10 per litre from October 16.

“We have worked out this huge increase in the price of both products keeping the first 10 days in view. The data shows that the prices of refined products have gone up from $79 to $91 per barrel from October 1,” sources in the industrial sector told The News.

POL prices are generally based on 13-day data and oil prices will continue to rise over the next three days.

So far, the government, in the last two fortnights, has approved an increase in the price of petrol of Rs9 per litre and high speed diesel of Rs7.01 per litre from September 16. It increased the MS price by Rs5 per litre to Rs123.30 per litre and HSD by Rs5.01 per litre to Rs 120.04. From October 1, the government also approved a hike in petrol prices by Rs4 per litre to Rs127.30 per litre and in HSD by Rs2 to Rs122.05 per litre.

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This would be the third consecutive hike in POL prices if the government further increases the POL prices from October 16 as has been worked out.

Oil went up more than 60 per cent for 2021 as demand rebounds, while supply remains tight. Industrial experts said that unless the OPEC acts to meaningfully increase the supplies, the prices will still stay high.

Since May, global prices of Brent have surged by almost one-third (32 per cent) to $82 per barrel although forecasts by the US Energy Information Administration average $62 per barrel in 2021 and $60 in 2022 against the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) projections of about $60 per barrel in 2021 and slightly above $56 in 2022.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s oil import bill more than doubled up to almost 103 per cent totaling $3.1bn in July-August 2021, against $1.5bn as compared to the corresponding period last year whereas overall consumption of oil products in the first three months of the current fiscal (3MFY22) posted about 24pc growth to 5.86m tonnes as industrial output and transportation business rebounded.

Earlier last week, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin had said that the government was absorbing the impact of the decade’s highest price-hike at international level to provide relief to people through various measures, including direct food subsidy to the poor.

He said that Covid-19 pandemic had triggered price hikes all across the globe, adding that since Pakistan was importer of some essential commodities, hence it was impacted too; however, the government had not passed on the impact to the public.



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