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No fear of fuel oil crisis, import process going on: BPC

Published : 12 Aug 2022 08:11 PM

There is growing concern among the people about the information given by Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) about fuel oil reserves in the country.  Recently, BPC chairman said that the country has 30 days fuel oil reserves.  People are reading various information about fuel in confusion, that is why instructions from the Prime Minister's office have been given to give them correct information, clear information about the price of fuel should be given.

  People are very disoriented due to various financial pressures including fuel price increase.  On the night of August 5, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources informed through a press release that the price of diesel and kerosene has been increased by 34 taka to 114 taka, petrol by 44 taka to 130 taka and octane by 46 taka to 135 taka.  The new rates are effective from midnight that day.

 Since then the fares of buses, trucks, app private cars, motorcycles and human haulers have increased.  All types of daily necessities including rice, flour, pulses, vegetables, fish, meat have increased.

  BPC Chairman ABM Azad said that there is no danger of oil shortage as the import process of oil is ongoing.  Stocks remain for the next 30 days, at the end of the month imported oil will arrive to fill the stock.  The import process is always running.  BPC awards two contracts a year through tender.  Currently purchased from Asia for a period of six months.  The country's depots have a total oil capacity of 40 days.  But if it comes down to 30 days there is nothing to panic.  Because the import is ordered.  The main crisis is the dollar.  Even with my money I am not getting enough dollars from the bank.  As a result, it is difficult to complete the order.

 According to BPC data, the total fuel oil consumption in the country was 55.03 lakh metric tonnes in the last fiscal year 2019-22.  Diesel used was 73.11 percent, petrol used 5.86 percent and octane used 4.78 percent.  The total fuel oil demand in 2021-22 was about 70 lakh metric tonnes, of which octane consumption was 3 lakh 39 thousand 602 metric tonnes, while petrol consumption was 4 lakh 46 thousand metric tonnes.

 According to BPC information, total fuel oil consumption increases slightly each year.  The annual consumption of fuel oil is considered as fuel oil demand.  Bangladesh has an annual demand of 3 lakh metric tons of octane, and 4 lakh metric tons of petrol.

  Although Bangladesh does not import petrol among fuels, according to BPC data, Bangladesh imports a significant portion of Bangladesh's annual octane demand.

  According to data available on the BPC website, the company imported 51 thousand 86 metric tonnes of octane in March 2022.  In the month of February, the amount of this import was 21 thousand 913 metric tons.

  During the extraction of gas in Bangladesh, octane is produced locally from the 'condensate' obtained from the gas fields.

 If the price of fuel is increased, the effect will be on the economy and public life.  As a result, there will be inflationary pressure in the country for the next 9 months.  The international situation is also involved.  For this reason in assessing how the coming days will go, interest rate increase in the United States, ongoing situation in Russia-Ukraine and tension between China-Taiwan are also being taken into consideration.  This is accompanied by a high dollar rate.  Most of the emphasis now is on controlling the high dollar rate.

 According to the Finance Department, inflation will rise to over 8 percent by the end of August.  Which may come down a bit later.  However, inflation will be more than 7.5 percent as a 12-month average at the end of the fiscal year.  In the overall scenario, the government is putting more emphasis on controlling inflation than achieving growth this fiscal.  The government is proceeding with the assumption that if there is high inflation, the growth will be low.