The liquid fuel market has been the hardest hit energy sub-sector in 2020, as highlighted by poor sales figures for December, by far the worst month of this year’s pandemic-affected sector results.
Gasoline sales are expected to end December 40 percent lower compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, car diesel sales are forecast to drop 15 percent, while heating fuel demand has slumped by 50 percent this month compared to this time a year earlier.
Overall, liquid fuel sales are projected to end 40 percent lower in December and 6 percent for the year.
Heating fuel demand for the year is projected to end up 20 percent, a development attributed to considerable purchases made last April by households, who made the most of lower prices.
Though Greece’s current lockdown has permitted motorists to circulate within their regions until an evening curfew, the forbiddance of longer-distance movement, from province to province, has been a major setback for auto fuel sales.
In addition, the pandemic-induced slump of the tourism sector, a major source of revenue for Greece’s fuel market, has also impacted fuel sales.
Looking ahead, petroleum firm projections for the first quarter of 2021 are not optimistic. Sector players believe lockdown restrictions will continue to be enforced.
A recent 7 percent tax increase on auto fuel, to support green energy, is another setback for the liquid fuel market. Prices, at the pump, will rise by 3 cents per liter.