Fuel sales surged just ahead of the price hike

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Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) had recorded a sharp increase in sales of heating oil, diesel and kerosene on November 3, a day before the new rate took effect, raising questions.

On Wednesday, fuel sales at various depots of Padma, Meghna, Jamuna and Standard Asiatic Oil Company Ltd, subsidiaries of the state-owned company, jumped from the previous day.

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On that day, depots across the country sold about 500 tonnes of kerosene, up 43% from 350 tonnes the day before, according to BPC data.

Up to 16,000 tonnes of diesel were sold on Wednesday, 14.28% more than the volume of 14,000 tonnes on Tuesday.

Depots also sold 2,400 tonnes of heating oil on November 3, up 50% from 1,600 tonnes the day before.

People in the industry say gas stations, dealerships and power plants have started stockpiling fuels after they got inside information about the government’s decision to raise the prices of three major petroleum products used in transportation. , cultivation, irrigation and power generation.

Diesel and kerosene are now 23% more expensive at 80 Tk per liter as the government decided to help BPC recover losses due to soaring global energy prices.

A senior BPC official, seeking anonymity, said there could be two reasons for the sudden surge in sales: Information about the rise may have leaked before the announcement. Or, some of the company’s marketing executives might have manipulated it into showing the inflated sales figure.

Whatever the reasons, the government has suffered losses, he said.

ABM Azad, president of BPC, however, ruled out any possibility of leaking information related to the price increase.

“It is not possible that there was an information leak. The ministry had maintained the utmost confidentiality. We cannot even say when the price will be increased. We are only making proposals to the ministry.”

Regarding the increase in sales, he said, “The marketing division is dealing with the problem. We are also working to find out why.

Bangladesh currently has a stock of 520,000 tonnes of diesel, 22,000 tonnes of kerosene and 66,000 tonnes of heating oil, sufficient to meet domestic demand for more than a month.


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