Price spike lowers first quarter petrol sales 10%
A £4-a-tank spike in petrol prices crashed pump sales by 9.85% between January and March this year, new government figures reveal.
Today’s Energy Trends publication, from the Department of Climate and Energy Change, shows that petrol retail sales fell by 450.491 million litres in the first quarter of this year. Compared to the same period in 2008, before the credit crunch, petrol sales are down 24.89% - a fall of 1.366 billion litres.
Between January and March, when petrol sales rose from 131.94p a litre on 2 January to a peak of 140.03p on 4 March, non-supermarket retailers suffered most with a 13.4% fall in petrol business while supermarkets saw a 5.7% drop. Last year, the surge in UK petrol prices peaked in April and set the current pump record of 142.48p a litre.
Retail sales of diesel held up, increasing by 17.985 million litres or 0.47%. Even so, compared to Q1 2008, diesel sales on UK forecourts have declined by 218.218 million litres or 5.32%.
sales suffered because there was no more give in family budgets – the only alternative was to leave the car on the driveway
Luke Bosdet, AA spokesman
“Although the coldest March in 50 years will have contributed to the fall in petrol sales, by far the biggest cause over the first quarter was the third 8p to 10p-a-litre price swing in 12 months. During all three price shocks, sales suffered because there was no more give in family budgets – the only alternative was to leave the car on the driveway,” says Luke Bosdet, AA spokesman.
Latest average UK fuel prices: petrol 134.05p a litre, diesel 138.64p
(27 June 2013)
From Energy Trends June 2013, Department of Energy and Climate Change