Petrol

for one hundred bucks a few months ago may have seemed like a dream to many, well i know it was dream to me. now, thanks to lanka IOC at least, the dream seems to have materialized again.

Now here’s the deal though. petrol prices still haven’t ‘officially’ been reduced to one hundred bucks, and IOC controlling only one third of the petrol market, will soon begin to feel the demand pressure with the full market force focused on it. Since no one in their right minds would buy petrol from CPC at 122 when they could guzzle it down at 100 bucks at IOC.

This is going to put a definite strain on their operations. Also, if CPC as the only wholesale supplier of petrol to the local market, refuse to reduce their wholesale price in compliance with the SC order, then that’s going to put a tough constraints on margins.

So they’ve got reduced margins, but increased demand, by almost 200 percent as a matter of fact. Assuming constant supply of oil, will this still be a profitable formula for IOC? they’ll definitely bring in tons of new revenue but will their cost model be able to hold it up.

They’ve probably thought about all this. And maybe they know something about the political situation that I don’t. One thing’s for sure this was a pretty good marketing ploy. Remember back in the day when IOC had a bad reputation because of perceived exploitative motives in the SL petroleum market? They hadn’t quite untarnished their image as yet but hell, this hundred bucks thing will definitely put them in the public’s affectionate eye.

Going on like this while the official price remains at 122 will not last though. if they keep at it and absorb reserves from India to cover up losses made through giving oil at 100 bucks, they could completely destroy the image, market share and business of CPC’s retail division and hell man I’m all for that. Not too sure of they’ll be able to get away with such anti competitive practices, but the possibility definitely exists.

If they can’t then they’ll simply switch back to 122 bucks a liter in a little while. But there is still hope that our block headed cabinet will actually move and reduce the prices. What’s the point of law if the government doesn’t adhere to it?

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