By Our Correspondent
Biratnagar, Aug. 3: The sale of petroleum products from Nepal Oil Corporation, Provincial Office, Biratnagar has decreased by almost half in the last 10 days.
Although only half of the fuel was sold by the Corporation compared to the past, no problem was seen in the market.
Previously, the demand for diesel was 1,000 kiloliters per day, but now it has been reduced by half, according to the Nepal Oil Corporation, Provincial Office, Biratnagar.
In the last year also, the demand for fuel in the months of Shrawan and Bhadra decreased compared to other months, but it did not decrease in this proportion, according to the Office.
The smuggling of fuel by traders from Nepal to India has almost stopped recently due to price fluctuations.
A businessman said that because the price of petroleum products in India is cheaper than in Nepal, informal exports from here to India have been stopped.
On the other hand, the price of petroleum products in the world market is continuously declining and due to the decrease in the price of fuel from the Indian Oil Corporation, traders are buying fuel to sell for a single day from NOC due to the suspicion that the NOC may reduce the price at any time.
It is the understanding of the Corporation that the sale of fuel has decreased due to the fact that the fuel was purchased only in proportion to the daily sales as there is a loss in keeping the fuel in stock.
But for several days, there is no problem of fuel in the market with only half the quantity supplied, and suspicion has been raised for what purpose the businessmen used to buy more fuel in the past.
The Corporation said that demand may have decreased due to non-use of fuel in agriculture.
It is the tendency of businessmen to keep fuel in stock when there is a sign that the price of petroleum products may increase and to buy less when there is a possibility of reduction.
But the easy supply of fuel in the market for 10-15 days has given grounds to confirm the claims that there was smuggling in the past.
Chief of Provincial Office Ashok Sah informed that in the past, daily demand for diesel from Biratnagar depot was 800,000 to 1,000,000 litres and petrol 300,000 to 400,000 liters, but now it has dropped by half.
Now, the demand for diesel stands at 400 to 500 KL and petrol 200 to 250 KL only.
One of the petroleum dealers said that because petroleum products were illegally exported from the southern area of Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari that is closed now, the demand for fuel has decreased and there is no problem in the market.
Petrol is Rs. 6 cheaper in India than in Nepal and diesel is almost Rs. 19 cheaper. The price of petrol in Nepal is Rs. 181 per litre and diesel Rs. 172 per liter. Currently, petrol price in India is Rs. 174.56 and diesel price Rs. 153.30.
The NOC's Provincial Office Biratnagar has been supplying fuel through 259 official dealers in 12 districts, including two districts of Madhes Province.