IOC, BPCL, HPCL lost $ 2.25 billon in revenue due to fuel price freeze: Moody’s

India’s top fuel retailers IOC, BPCL and HPCL have together lost around $ 2.25 billion (Rs 19,000 crore) in revenue between November and March by keeping petrol and diesel prices unchanged despite a sharp rise in crude oil prices, Moody’s Investors Service said.

Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged between November 4, 2021, and March 21 despite prices of crude oil (raw material for producing fuel) averaging around $ 111 per barrel in the first three weeks of March compared to around $ 82 in early November.

“Based on current market prices, the oil marketing companies are currently incurring a revenue loss of around $ 25 (over Rs 1,900) per barrel and $ 24 per barrel on sale of petrol and diesel, respectively,” Moody’s said in a report.

If crude oil prices continue to average around $ 111 a barrel, the three rated entities – IOC, BPCL and HPCL – will incur a combined daily loss of around $ 65-70 million on the sale of petrol and diesel unless fuel prices are increased to cover the rising crude oil prices, it said.

“Based on our estimates of average sales volume between November and first three weeks of March, the state-owned refining and marketing companies together have lost around $ 2.25 billion in revenue on petrol and diesel sales,” Moody’s said. This equates to around 20 per cent of the combined FY2021 EBITDA for the three entities.

The rating agency estimated that IOC’s revenue loss to be around $ 1-1.1 billion while that of BPCL and HPCL to be about $ 550-650 million each over the same period. “This loss in revenue will add to the short term borrowings, funded with working capital lines, of the refiners until such time that crude oil prices stay at elevated levels. “Over time, the companies might be able to make up for some of these losses if oil prices come down,” it added. While fuel prices in India are deregulated and the refiners can pass on cost increases to the consumer, a steep price hike such as the one required under the current oil price environment will be in coordination with the government and may involve a reduction in excise duties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.