Sharp heating fuel demand boost registered in December

The local fuel market ended the year with a considerable boost in demand propelled by a significant increase in heating fuel orders during December, according to business news source

Many petrol trading companies experienced order increases of up to 40 percent in the final month of 2015, which came as respite amid a year of sharp fluctuations, good and bad news, all of which ultimately heightened insecurity, as it has become unclear how much further the price of crude can drop in the international market.

The local heating fuel orders boost in December, especially during the festive season, has been attributed to lower prices and favorable terms offered by competing suppliers.

Heating fuel prices, whose national average was less than 75 cents per liter and under 70 cents in the wider Athens region, have now fallen to levels of four years ago.

Intensifying rumors of limited heating fuel subsidies that could be swiftly absorbed by entitled households also helped boost heating fuel demand.

Although this winter season has been mostly mild in Greece compared to last year, the sudden dip in temperatures experienced around the country during the New Year period also helped boost fuel demand.

Despite the late-year surge, 2015 ended as a subdued year, overall, for the fuel sector. Encouraging signs during the year’s first half were suddenly devastated by the arrival of capital controls in the summer. The restrictive banking measures altered the market’s sentiment and led to a drastic decline in demand. It took until October for the fuel market to regain some sense of balance. December’s boost will certainly offer some improvement to the sector’s overall results for 2015. The sector suffered a bad year in 2014, incurring an overall loss of some 65 million euros.