KARACHI: A total of 1.42 million tons of POL (petroleum, oil, lubricants) sales were recorded in November 2019, reflecting a 7.0 percent increase as against off-take of 1.33 million tons in November last year.

MS and HSD sales grew by 7 percent and 4 percent respectively while FO saw an 8 percent rise. “Refreshingly, total POL sales growth turned positive after a prolonged period of 18 months.”

POL sales in November 2019 reflected an 11 percent monthly decline as the industry failed to sustain the relatively strong sales in the preceding month.

“While the 28 percent contraction in Furnace Oil (FO) sales may seem substantial, the 15 percent decline in Motor Spirit (MS) was the leading cause of the decline given its share in the industry’s product mix,” Ali Zaidi at JS Global Capital said.

A similar trend can be seen in 5MFY20 (July-November 2019) where total POL sales declined 5.0 percent to 7.39 million tons from 7.74 million tons in the same period last year.

During the period, High Speed Diesel (HSD) sales dipped by 11 percent while FO sales declined by 14 percent. “While the dismal sales of HSD show that the economic slowdown lingers on, a 4.0 percent growth in MS demand reflects rising consumer spending,” Zaidi said.

Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the country’s largest oil marketing company continued to gradually regain its market share which stood at 46.9 percent in 5MFY20 from 40.5 percent during the same period last year.

Interestingly, HASCOL lost a similar portion of the pie in the same period. It seems as though PSO’s retail presence alone has allowed it to capture the additional market share.

Attock Petroleum Limited (APL), despite having lost its market share by 0.2 percentage points, has also benefitted from HASCOL’s dampened sales as it became the second largest oil marketing company (OMC) by volumes during 5MFY20.

Shell Pakistan Limited (SHEL) managed to become the third largest OMC with regards to volumetric sales as it increase its market share by 0.2 percentage points to 8.2 percent while the cumulative share of other OMCs remained stagnant.

“With regards to SHEL, we would like to highlight that the company’s market share has not changed much over the recent past, which goes in line with the management’s aim to increase non-retail revenues,” Zaidi added.