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PETALING JAYA, Dec 2 — Many petrol stations in the Klang Valley ran out of RON97 petrol on the first day of the introduction of the managed float method for fuel prices.
Checks at several petrol stations in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Petaling Jaya, Bangsar and Damansara revealed they had run out of RON97 petrol as early as 11.30am.
Operators were however quick to blame it on the sudden drop of government regulated petrol prices.
A petrol dealer with 26 years’ experience said his station stopped selling RON97 petrol two days ago because of the shortage of supply and increase in demand.
“I’ve never experience such a situation before. The price dropped in the middle of last month by 20 sen and it has now dropped by an additional 9 sen,” he said.
“There’s not much difference between RON97 and RON95 even though both fuels are on the managed float.”
With a price difference of only 20 sen, the operator said, the demand for petrol had shifted from 10 per cent for RON97 and 90 per cent for RON95 previously to 20 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively.
“If the price remains, RON97 will soon make up 40 per cent of my customer demand,” he said.
“The shortage in the supply for RON97 is an added concern on top of losing money from having to sell older stock bought at a higher price.
“When it dropped by 20 sen, I lost approximately RM4,000.
“Since I have been out of stock for two days now, I have even had customers who demanded to see my petrol tanks, accusing me of refusing to sell petrol. I would lose even more money I didn’t get rid of my stock.”
Another petrol operator in Petaling Jaya, who was also facing a shortage of RON97, said oil companies were not prepared to face the sudden increase in demand for the fuel.
Citing a similar three-fold increase in customers for RON97 at his station, he said he was not expecting supply for a few days.
“I don’t think anyone was prepared to cater to the demand,” he said.
“Oil companies would need time to recalibrate their refineries to adapt to the new demand but all of a sudden, there is another drop after the subsidies were lifted. “This made the price gap even smaller between the petrol grades and a need for higher supply.”
In George Town, several petrol stations also ran out of RON97 petrol by 2pm.
“We did not expect so many people to suddenly start filling up on RON97,” one dealer said at a petrol station in Jalan Datuk Keramat.
At another petrol station, an attendant said it was running low of RON97 supply.
“We still have some RON97 left but I don’t think it will last through the day,” he said.
“Before this, we hardly had anyone buying RON97 but now it is selling much better than before.”
In Ipoh, a petrol station owner said the shortage of RON97 was because retailers did not want to[ take delivery of the fuel.
“We were aware two days ago that the price of RON97 would decrease. Why would we want to take delivery of a product where we knew we would lose money?” he asked.