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KARACHI: The government has maintained prices of local oil products to protect consumers by further raising subsidy through price differential claims (PDCs) that will cost national exchequer Rs 60 billion on a fortnightly basis on both petrol and diesel against Rs 45 billion during previous fortnight, experts said.

The total subsidy has so far reached more than Rs 195 billion during March-May 2022.

“We believe that oil marketing companies (OMCs) have not yet received the full amount for April and May while government is eyeing to release some funds to keep supplies intact,” Farhan Mahmood at Sherman Securities said.

This has negative implications on OMCs’ liquidity, particularly PSO which has largest share of around 50 percent in retail fuel supply in the country, he added.

Petroleum products’ rates to rise sharply if subsidy withdrawn

On the flip side, PSO which enjoys market share of more than 65 percent in the country’s gas market in value terms is also likely to take a hit on its costly LNG supplies since there is risk of further circular debt accumulation, he said.

To note, weighted average price of LNG for May increased by 40 percent on month-on-month basis (up 60 percent in rupee terms) to $20 per mmbtu mainly due to higher international LNG prices. On top of that, LNG volumes also grew by 50 percent to meet electricity shortage during summer season since LNG is also used in power generation.

During the third quarter of FY22, PSO’s overdue receivables grew by Rs 60 billion on QoQ basis to Rs 305 billion mainly related to LNG supplies. There is a possibility that higher receivables on both LNG and oil products/ PDCs may take a toll on PSO’s liquidity in the fourth quarter of FY22. “In case, timely payments are not released, PSO’s overall receivables may grow by Rs 150-200 billion”, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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