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UK monthly petrol consumption crashes to record low
New HM Revenue and Customs figures show that January’s UK petrol sales fell to the lowest tracked by government in 23 years.
Drivers consumed 1.465 billion litres of petrol last month, down 14 million litres on the previous all-time low set in March last year and nearly 100 million litres below December’s consumption (1.564billion litres).
Against an average of 1.548 billion litres in January 2012, last month’s consumption fell 83 million litres or 5.4%.
UK diesel consumption also fell in January, down to 1.923 billion litres for cars, haulage and other uses. However, this is still higher than the all-time lows of 1.871 billion litres in January 2009 and then 1.833 billion litres in January 2010, when widespread and extended periods of heavy snow cut road use
When the Government considers where it’s going to get new revenue for the next financial year, it shouldn’t knock on drivers’ windows and demand more fuel duty – they have nothing left to give
Edmund King, AA president
“Although we had a disruptive period of snow between the 18th and 25th of January, the impact of the weather was nothing like that suffered during the January of 2010. The blame for this latest collapse in petrol sales rests squarely with stock market speculation,” says Edmund King, the AA’s president.
“Speculators have pumped up the wholesale price of petrol at a time of year when cars consume the most and when the concern is normally with imported diesel prices. Currency gambling has devalued the pound, adding a further 1.6p a litre to the 7.9p-a-litre increase in the cost of wholesale petrol since the start of the year. This has broken the back of many family budgets and destroyed a great chunk of petrol demand.
“When the Government considers where it’s going to get new revenue for the next financial year, it shouldn’t knock on drivers’ windows and demand more fuel duty – they have nothing left to give. Milking this cash cow has turned into flogging a dead horse.”