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Annual UK fuel retail sales fall 3.5 billion litres in five years
Supermarket and non-supermarket fuel forecourts in the UK are dispensing 3.5 billion fewer litres of fuel than five years ago, AA research reveals.
In 2007, fuel stations sold 22.872 billion litres of petrol and 14.800 billion litres of diesel, totalling 37.672 billion litres. Last year, according to latest Department of Energy and Climate Change figures*, retailers sold 17.426 billion litres of petrol and 16.734 billion litres of diesel, totalling 34.160 billion litres.
Despite bigger sales of diesel over the past five years, some of it due to companies now buying the fuel direct from forecourts instead of storing it in depots, total fuel sales have fallen 9.3% in the past five years.
With the UK retailing around 0.1 billion litres of fuel a day in 2007, the 3.5 billion drop means that a volume equivalent to 35 days of fuel sales has been lost since the credit crunch.
Last year’s petrol sales contributed to the decline with 0.852 billion fewer litres sold, which was partially offset by a 0.489-billion-litre increase in forecourt sales of diesel. In 2011, UK retailers had sold 18.278 billion litres of petrol - 4.66% more than in 2012. And the 16.245 billion litres of diesel retailed in 2011 was 3.01% below what was sold the following year.
Non-supermarket retailers lost out the most last year, with petrol sales 7.7% lower than in 2011, and supermarkets down 0.6%. Diesel sales from non-supermarket pumps improved by 4.4% in 2012 compared to 0.8% better on supermarket forecourts.
what will happen when the speculators pump themselves up with bullish sentiment and send prices soaring yet again?
Edmund King, AA president
“Greater take-up of diesel cars and smaller petrol vehicles has contributed to this overall decline in UK fuel sales over the long term. However, soaring pump prices have taken a huge toll on petrol sales more recently – during the 10p-a-litre price surges last March and October, pump sales of petrol fell by up to 5%,” says Edmund King, the AA’s president.
“The trouble is that, with global economic recovery, the stock market will predict greater oil and fuel demand and push up commodity values accordingly. Drivers’ fuel consumption and retail survivability are already precarious, what will happen when the speculators pump themselves up with bullish sentiment and send prices soaring yet again?”