(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Many motorists are expected to switch to lower quality but cheaper fuel in the coming weeks after the recent hike in the prices of high-octane gasoline, according to the Gas Stations Owners Association (GSOA).
On Saturday, the government raised the price of 95-octane gas from JD0.795 per litre to JD1 per litre, making it 38 per cent more expensive than 90-octane gasoline, which will remain at JD0.62 per litre.
GSOA President Fahed Fayez told The Jordan Times on Sunday that during the coming six weeks, demand on 90-octane gas is set to increase as many drivers will opt for the lower-quality gasoline due to the large price difference with 95-octane.
He indicated that since the beginning of January 2011, immediately after the latest update of fuel prices, consumption of 95-octane dropped from 1,700 tonnes per day to around 700 tonnes a day because many motorists switched to the cheaper fuel.
"Until late last week, higher octane gasoline was more expensive than the lower quality fuel by around 20 per cent and the recent price hike has doubled the price difference between the two products," he said, expecting daily consumption of 95-octane to drop further to between 300 and 500 tonnes.
Commenting on fears that gas stations might mix the two products to benefit from the price gap, Fayez pointed out that the testing equipment of the Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology (JISM) is capable of uncovering mixtures of gasoline types.
He noted that the GSOA will ask JISM to increase its inspections of gas stations to prevent any attempts to sell adulterated fuel.
According to GSOA figures, motorists in Jordan consumed 1.416 billion litres of gasoline in 2011, with the vast majority of drivers using the cheaper variety.
The report showed that 90-octane fuel consumption increased in 2011 to 1.177 billion litres compared with 1.063 billion litres in 2010, while consumption of the 95-octane dropped to 239 million litres in 2011, after reaching 325 million litres in 2010.