ECONOMY

Demand for diesel boosts total fuel sales

After five years (2009-13) of decline, the fuel market returned to positive territory in June, albeit at the marginal rate of 0.3 percent year-on-year, according to official data, capitalizing on the first signs of economic recovery in Greece.

Leading the rebound in demand is diesel, whose growth is attributed to consumers’ swing toward diesel-powered vehicles and the revival of public works projects. Market professionals associate this marginal growth with general political and social developments in the country.

“If stability continues in Greece we will have a period of positive figures ahead of us,” said the managing director of Hellenic Petroleum’s commercial arm, Yiannis Psychogios.

In the first half of the year fuel demand posted a 3.5 percent decline. In June, demand for gasoline dropped 5.6 percent from the same month in 2013, but demand for diesel posted an annual rise of 6.9 percent.

The rapid growth in autogas (liquefied petroleum gas) as an alternative form of fuel appears to be slowing now, having snatched an 8 percent market share from regular petrol, experts state.