Argentina will import 10 tanker ships of fuel to avoid supply shortages after a spike in demand around the elections and rising consumption in 2023 overall. The agreement was made during a meeting between Energy Secretary Flavia Royón and the leaders of major energy companies.
Demand for fuel has increased recently, driven by increased demand from tourism over the mid-October long weekend and greater activity in the agricultural sector. According to the government, demand due to these factors has grown up to 15% compared to 2022.
The Energy Secretariat said that the technical issues concerning the tanker ships should be finalized in the next 10 days and that production will be increased in refineries that are able to do so.
“The root of the problem is that last weekend demand was 15% higher compared to the same weekend of the previous year; this led to an emptying of the companies fuel stocks. We hope that it will be normalized quickly”, said Economy Minister Sergio Massa.
In an interview with Télam Radio, Royón also said that demand was “unusually high” despite “record” production. “This affected the logistics of fuel delivery, given that there hasn’t been enough time to restock [gas stations], but we’re taking the required steps to solve it,” she said.
In addition to meeting with the heads of energy companies, Royón also met with representatives of gas station unions, who expressed their concern regarding the shortages in several parts of the country. They published a statement asking the government to “quickly resolve the situation.”
“We ask the government to take the required measures to normalize the situation in order to allow companies to begin delivering fuel to gas stations again. We all need fuel, and we currently don’t have enough to meet demand. An urgent solution is required,” they wrote.
The Argentine Rural Society (SRA, for its Spanish initials) and the Argentine Rural Confederations (CRA, for its Spanish initials) also warned that diesel shortage would cause potential losses that agricultural producers “cannot withstand,” taking into account the historic drought that still affects certain parts of the country.
“Because of this, the authorities must intervene in the matter in order to normalize fuel restocking so that agricultural production can be carried out with certainty,” they said in a communiqué.
– with information from Télam