OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - Oil consumption in October 2011 clocked in at 1.8 million tons, 26 per cent higher as compared to the previous month of September. The growth was primarily led by recovery in furnace oil sales and seasonal uptick in HSD sales volumes. However, on a YoY basis, oil sales were lower by 5 per cent owing to high base of last year. Cumulatively, oil consumption stood at 6.8 million tons during 4MFY12 up by 3 per cent YoY. During this period, PSO sales dipped by 1 percent YoY, while Attock Petroleum (APL) registered an increase of 42 percent YoY. Experts expect FO volumes to sustain in coming months owing to a decline in hydel power generation capacity in the winter season. In October, FO sales increased by 48 percent MoM owing to suspension of fuel supplies to power utilities on account of non-payment of dues in Sept-2011. HSD volumes witnessed a seasonal uptick amid the beginning of the sowing period for the Rabi crop, increasing by 30 percent MoM. PSO gained the most, with sales rising by 40 percent MoM, followed by APLs growth of 26 percent MoM. However, overall industry was down by 5 percent in Oct-2011 when compared to the same month last year. The decline was mainly owing to high base. To recall much of the displaced demand of July-2010 and Aug-2010 and inventory pile up ahead of the resumption of power plants were witnessed in Oct-2010. APL continues to benefit from expansion of its distribution network, with sales rising by 39 percent YoY. On the other hand, PSO witnessed a decline of 5 percent YoY. The overall industry sales were recorded at 6.8 million tons during 4MFY12, up 3 percent YoY. PSO sales witnessed a meager fall of 1 percent YoY, while APL offtake increased by 42 percent YoY. As a result, PSO market share dropped to 64 percent from 67 percent previously, while APLs share augmented to 8 percent from 6 percent earlier. Experts expect oil consumption to stand in the vicinity of 20.9 million tons in FY12, up 5 percent from last year. Moreover, recent increase in margins of regulated products along with rising margins on FO amid recent uptick in international oil prices affirms investment case for PSO and APL.