Panic, Panic

Sri Lankan motorists queued up at petrol sheds late Friday in a bout of panic buying on rumours that fuel shipments due early next week were being delayed. Sri Lankan motorists queued up at petrol sheds late Friday in a bout of panic buying on rumours that fuel shipments due early next week were being delayed. State owed Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) single Sapugaskanda refinery is closed for routine maintenance from early July until August – a move carried out once every two years.

About 40,000 tonnes of refined products are being shipped in each week to fill up local sheds, but constraints at the port means it takes five days to unload a single ship.

A CPC shipment due on Monday is being delayed by a day, sparking panic buying at sheds around the island, by motorists worried that stocks will run out over the weekend.

“We can manage with existing stocks if there is no panic buying. We were hoping to avoid this,” a senior official with Ceypetco said on Friday.

Stocks of petrol, diesel, kerosene and furnace oil that come in, are taken to the Kolonnawa terminal where it is distributed to sheds around the island.

Indian Oil Corp