KARACHI: Pakistan’s total energy sales of petroleum oil and lubricants clocked-in at 1.74 million tons in February 2017, down 15 percent compared to sales in January 2017 while sales volume in eight months of the fiscal year depicted a decent growth of 15 percent to 16.71 million tons, official numbers suggest. Waleed Rahmani in a report issued by Arif Habib Limited said the government had been gradually increasing the prices of retail products, which negatively affected sales volumes. “To recall, the price of Motor Gasoline (MoGas) has jumped to R73.0/liter from Rs66.3/liter in the beginning of the CY17. Similarly the price of HSD has inclined to Rs82.0/liter from Rs75.2/liter in the beginning of January 2017”. With increase in prices, the volumes for Mogas contracted by 7.0 percent to 0.51 million tons in February 2017 and off-take for HSD declined 5.0 percent to 0.61 million tons. “Prior growth in sales volumes spurred by low prices has largely been reversed and declining trend in sales volumes may continue in March 2017 as prices of Mogas and HSD in March 2017 are significantly higher than March 2016,” Rahmani added. Meanwhile, the furnace oil (FO) demand has dipped 30 percent to 0.54 million tons in February, which can be attributed to multiple reasons including the product’s descend in the economic dispatch order due to its higher cost of generation and the initiation of electricity generation from RLNG power plants and the procurement pattern of independent power producers. “A companywide analysis reveals that PSO has shifted gears with the company now inclining towards retail products, where it has increased its market share. On the FO front the company has reduced its market share amid the rising total circular debt amount which is hovering around levels last seen in 2013. Pertinently, greater exposure to circular debt is expected to affect the overall liquidity of oil marketing companies,” AHL report noted.