BPC records up to 50% spike in oil sales just before hike of prices
The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) registered up to 50 per cent rise in sales of furnace oil, diesel and kerosene on November 3 just before the newly hiked prices of the fuel oils came into effect.
On November 3, the sales of furnace oil from different depots of BPC increased over 50 per cent from the previous day whereas the rate of rise in case of kerosene was 40 per cent and diesel 14 per cent.
On Wednesday, depots of Padma, Meghna, Jamuna and Standard Asiatic Oil Company Ltd –the subsidiaries of BPC– sold around 500 tonnes of kerosene, 16,000 tonnes of diesel and 2,400 tonnes of furnace oil.
But just a day ago, the figures of sales were 350 tonnes, 12,000 tonnes and 1,600 tonnes respectively, according to BPC data.
On November 1, the volume of kerosene sales was 320 tonnes. The BPC recorded 14,500 tonnes of diesel and 1670 tonnes of furnace oil sales on the same day.
Industry insiders said filling stations, dealers and even electricity producing companies started storing fuel oils in advance as they somehow got to know about the government’s move to increase prices of three major petroleum products used in transport, cultivation and irrigation as well power generation.
However, a high official of BPC, seeking anonymity, said there might be two reasons for the sudden rise in sales: information of the hike in prices might got leaked earlier or some marketing officials of BPC may have done the manipulation by showing increased sales of the three fuel oils at lower prices.
However, ABM Azad, chairman of BPC, has discarded the chances of the information of the price hiked to be leaked.
“It is not possible that there was any information leak. The ministry has maintained highest confidentiality. We even cannot say when the price will be raised. We only place the proposals to the ministry,” he said.
“The marketing division looks after the issue. We are also working to find out the reasons,” he said replying to the reasons of manipulation.
Bangladesh currently has 520,000 toones of diesel, 22,000 tonnes of kerosene and 66,000 tonnes of furnace oil in store, which is sufficient to meet the domestic demand of over a month.