The current economic recession scalding the country has led to a remarkable drop in the demand for petroleum products at various tank farms across the country.
The situation is also compounded by the scarcity of forex as many manufacturers, who depended largely on petrol or diesel to operate have closed shop as they could not survive buying one US dollar at N420. Consequently, petroleum marketers operating at the downstream sector have continued to witness reduction in demand for products, especially petrol.
Findings show that most accredited tank farms are laden with fuel but there is low turnout of tankers to lift products.
It was also discovered that ex-depot price of diesel has increased from N110 to N160 a litre as forex scarcity bites harder. A marketer who spoke under anonymity lamented that the instability in the money market is affecting the downstream oil sector negatively on daily basis.
“That is what forced the price of diesel to increase from N110 per litre to N160 per litre ex-depot price. Any marketer who has paid for products but is yet to bring in his truck into the tank farm will be required to pay additional money as differentials.
“There has been a negative effect of the rising exchange rate on the downstream sector as the price of diesel is over N200 per litre now at filling stations. Before now, diesel was sold for N110 ex-depot and retailed for N150 at fuel stations, but now ex-depot has risen to N160 while retail price goes for N200. It is not a good story.
“Any marketer who has paid for products before the fluctuation will now have to add more money to his deposit, provided he has not entered with his truck to lift. He will be asked to pay the balance or differentials. Diesel price now follows exchange rate fluctuations. We are waiting for all the small refineries to come up so that we can stabilise,” he said.
Another marketer, Mr. Olanife Adeoye, pointed out that even though fuel is supposed to be sold for N145 at the fuel stations, many of the stations have adjusted their meters.
Olanife also confirmed that the demand for PMS at the depot has reduced drastically. He said, “when the last deregulation was done, fuel was sold at filling station for N145 per litre.
Despite this, some of the fuel stations adjusted their pumps and were not giving us complete measures.
“But now the demand for PMS has become so low that people with two to three cars are now managing one car, while many have equally abandoned their generating sets.
“There is low patronage at filling stations now; you will hardly see more than a vehicle at a time, and this is now forcing the demand to come down. There is product but the demand is low now at the depots,” he said.