Rising fuel sales slow down in May, hit by high prices

Liquid fuel demand, which had been on the rise over recent months after lockdown measures were eased, has slowed down in May, a trend attributed to the efforts of motorists to restrict mileage as a result of record gasoline and diesel prices.

According to latest data provided by fuel traders, gasoline and diesel demand appears set to end May down by 6 percent and 8 percent, respectively, compared to the equivalent month a year earlier.

Gasoline and diesel demand rose between January and April at double-digit rates following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

Unleaded gasoline sales rose 24 percent in January, 29 percent in February, 18 percent in March, and 25 percent in April – as a result of Easter-period travel. Similar sales increases were registered for diesel.

Market officials noted that, despite the rise in fuel sales during the first four months of the year, pre-pandemic demand levels were not fully recovered, reaching about 90 percent of normal levels.

Fuel traders remain deeply concerned about rising fuel prices, not knowing how high price levels may rise and for how long. They have called for a VAT rate reduction on fuel.