RON97 petrol sales have dropped by 65% in Malaysia

With the retail price of RON 97 petrol having hit an all-time high in Malaysia, reaching RM4.70 per litre two weeks ago, the question isn’t whether sales of the fuel have dropped, but rather by how much.

We now have a rough idea. According to Datuk Abdul Wahid Bidin, chairman of the Shell Petroleum Dealers Association Malaysia (SPDAM), sales of RON 97 started plummeting when its retail price exceeded the RM4 mark, and have now fallen by at least 65%, as China Press reports.

“Since it rose past RM4 a month ago, sales of RON 97 have decreased significantly. However, this doesn’t really impact the revenue of petrol stations, as consumers of the fuel will switch to RON 95,” he said. He added that be it RON 97 or RON 95, the profit margin gained by dealers from the sale of petrol is 15 sen per litre, so even if the increase in the price of RON 97 leads to a decrease in sales, dealers still earn a commission from the sale of RON 95.

He added that the increase in the price of RON 97 doesn’t only impact users, because if people use credit cards to pay for RON 97, petrol station operators make less profit. “When customers use a credit card, the operator has to pay a 1% transaction fee per litre of petrol, which means that the higher the petrol price, the higher the fee we bear,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) president Datuk Khairul Annuar Abdul Aziz said the drop in RON 97’s sales volume has been going on for a while now, having begun dropping noticeably after its price went past the RM3.50 per litre mark.

“This is nothing new. Customers had already started switching to RON 95 before, so the phenomenon of switching is not so big now. As for how much national sales of RON 97 have dropped, I can’t say exactly by how much. Some petrol stations sold 2,000 litres of RON 97 a day before, and now are only doing 300 litres,” he told the publication.

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