AFX NEWS: Shell fuel sales in Argentina down 50-60 pct due to boycott: “Sales at Royal Dutch/Shell Group petrol stations have fallen by 50-60 pct since Thursday, when the Argentine government called for the boycott of its products…” (ShellNews.net) 14 March 05
BUENOS AIRES (AFX) - Sales at Royal Dutch/Shell Group petrol stations have fallen by 50-60 pct since Thursday, when the Argentine government called for the boycott of its products in response to the oil company's decision to rise its tariffs by up to 4.2 pct, daily La Nacion reported, citing the fuel industry association.
The effect of the boycott was amplified by the action of piqueteros -- a hard-line protest movement including unemployed and pensioners -- which blocked access to Shell petrol stations.
La Nacion quoted Carlos Calabro, president of the fuel industry association, as saying that the boycott has caused chaos and put some owners of petrol stations on the verge of financial collapse.
The report also noted that fuel sales at of Exxon Mobil Corp (Esso) stations have fallen but to a lesser extent as the US company implemented the tariff rises three days after Shell.
La Nacion quoted Shell officials as saying that sales were definitely lower since the start of the boycott, but probably down by only 20-25 pct.
Shell estimated that the tariff hike itself led to a 17 pct drop in its fuel sales on Wednesday, before President Nestor Kirchner's call for a boycott.
Esso said that its petrol stations seem to be operating normally.
Kirchner said last Thursday in a speech that Argentinians should not even buy an oil can from Shell.
Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Repsol YPF SA have said they are not planning to raise their tariffs for the time being.