Subdued fuel demand figures registered in December, including sale level drops for certain categories, impacted the sector’s overall performance for 2017, which ended slightly down compared to the previous year.
More specifically, in December, gasoline demand fell by a level of between 2 and 3 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier. Heating fuel demand fell sharply by 30 percent compared to December, 2016, primarily as a result of the milder winter experienced so far, combined with a preceding reinforcement of reserves. Also, emerging as the most surprising result of all, auto diesel demand fell by a considerable 10 percent.
Subsequently, the overall drop in sales for 2017 is estimated to be between 1 and 2 percent, primarily as a result of the steep drop in heating fuel sales.
These end-of-year results effectively mean that the fuel sector failed to register a solid rebound for yet another year.
Officials are concerned that a tax hike planned for diesel will further impact the sector.