Temperatures in Jordan drop, demand for gas rises
As a polar air mass is expected to hit the Kingdom on Monday, bringing near-zero temperatures and possibly snow, demand for heating fuel increased sharply over the past two days, according to the Gas Station Owners Association (GSOA).
GSOA President Fahed Al Fayez told The Jordan Times on Sunday that demand for gas cylinders had risen to 149,000 units on Saturday and 172,000 cylinders on Sunday, compared to an average daily consumption of 100,000 units last week.
Fayez noted that a total of 8,700 tonnes of the four other fuel products — kerosene, diesel, 90-octane and 95-octane gasoline — were ordered by gas stations across the Kingdom on Sunday, with diesel representing over 52 per cent of the overall quantity.
He added that demand for kerosene more than doubled in the past two days, going up from 600 tonnes to over 1,240 tonnes as people prepared for the polar air mass, which meteorologists expect to bring snow to most of the country on Wednesday and to high-altitude areas on Monday and Tuesday.
However, Fayez pointed out that demand for fuel products was higher prior to last year’s cold spells than it has been this week.
He attributed the lower demand to the fact that many households and large consumers, such as hotels and restaurants, stockpiled fuel in November, days before the government decided to remove fuel subsidies.
The government decision on November 14 to liberalise prices of oil derivatives and natural gas, which triggered nationwide protests and riots, sent the price of 90-octane gasoline up by 15 per cent, from JD0.70 a litre to JD0.80 a litre.
Diesel and kerosene prices went up to JD0.685 per litre instead of JD0.515 a litre, rising 33 per cent, while cooking gas saw the highest rise, with the price of a gas cylinder going up from JD6.5 to JD10.
The rise in prices, Fayez said, pushed many consumers to use alternative heating methods such as wood and electric devices.
The GSOA president said that gas stations across the country had enough fuel in stock to meet demand during the polar front, forecast to take hold on the Kingdom for several days.