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As diesel demand keeps falling, BPCL plans export

As diesel demand keeps falling, BPCL plans export Mumbai, Nov 8 (PTI) With the deepening slowdown andthe resultant fall in diesel demand, state-owned BharatPetroleum is looking at exporting the fuel and the sell-offbound oil marketer will shortly float a tender for this.

The second largest oil company saw a demand for itsdiesel falling 2.4 percent in the second quarter, while theindustry saw volume falling 2.5 percent.

Apart from the macroeconomic issues, the crisis in theauto industry, which for the past one has been witnessingmassive fall in sales, has also led to falling demand for autofuels.

'Diesel demand not growing is a matter of concern forus as almost 50 percent of our production and our market isdiesel. If this fuel doesn't move domestically, we will haveto export,' finance director N Vijayagopal told reporters,adding it has exported 2 lakh tonne diesel in September alone.

'Since we don't anticipate growth to pick upimmediately, we are planning to have an export tender floatedsoon,' he added.

On retailing efforts, he said the company hascommissioned 500 new retail outlets so far this year and plansto expand its retail outlets further.

'We are planning to have 1,000-1,500 retail outletsevery year for the next three to four years. We want to ensurethat in rural markets, where our presence is down, iscaptured,' Vijayagopal said.

The company enjoys a 29 percent market share in thetransportation fuel and targeting is to increase it to 32percent, he said.

In the quarter to September, BPCL reported a full 40percent increase in net come at Rs 1,709 crore from Rs 1,219crore a year ago, primarily due to a tax relief of about Rs580 crore, he said.

The gross refinery margin steeply declined to USD 3.38a barrel from USD 5.57 a barrel a year ago.

The company's borrowing came down from Rs 29,000 crorein March 2019 to Rs 26,180 crore.

Of the Rs 7,950 crore capex target for FY20, thecompany has spent Rs 4,030 crore. For FY21, it has set a capextarget of Rs 12,000 crore, Vijayagopal said. PTI HVBEN BEN