This is a time of unprecedented change for the downstream sector, with numerous factors conspiring to make this one of the toughest operating environments ever seen, says Mabanaft.
“With over capacity and falling consumer demand throughout Europe prompting international oil companies to focus on upstream sectors, re-organisation and disinvestment has resulted, not least in refining and marketing in the UK,” said marketing manager, Stephen Rhodes.
Increased wholesale prices
“Downstream fuel prices remain high, with governments looking to raise revenues through fuel duties and other fiscal measures. And investors are looking to place available funds into safe, secure commodities – such as oil – resulting in increased wholesale prices. Add to this fluctuating exchange rates, inflationary factors, political unrest in the Middle East, recession within the Eurozone, and a global economic slowdown – all are bolstering volatility,” added Stephen.
Mabanaft has found that the current economic climate, combined with the high price of oil, has resulted in limited credit availability for all industry participants. Suppliers are operating on lower stock holdings, which have the potential to impact on the prevailing cost of compulsory stock, leading to increased prices for consumers.
“And the volatility of the biofuels blending markets, coupled with rigorous audit and sustainability requirements, are adding yet more costs to doing business,” adds Stephen.
How is Mabanaft countering such difficult circumstances?
Vast experience, and a thorough understanding of the fuel oil distribution market means that Mabanaft can offer valuable support and advice on purchasing fuel.
“Innovation is key to delivering added and new value, and MabaLIVE, our online price information and fuel ordering service, is a good example of this,” says Stephen. “It provides immediate pricing information, enabling customers to make informed purchasing decisions and order fuel quickly and easily.”
Mabanaft is also exploring new market sectors and ways of working with customers to meet specific requirements. This includes developing new methods of delivering fuel to market, as well as improved products.
Building relationships and meeting customer expectations
“We’re committed to understanding what our customers want – and we go out of our way to deliver. We are currently implementing a feedback survey to gain a deeper understanding of exactly what our customers value, and to ensure that we are meeting expectations.
“Credit lines and pricing structures are of critical importance in the current environment and Mabanaft is providing a range of options to enable customers to minimise price risk and exposure to price volatility.
“We support customers,” adds Stephen. “And this includes delivering the basics accurately and efficiently – competitive pricing, accurate administration and a robust and reliable operational service.”