ECONOMY

Uncertainty sees fuel demand revert to crisis level

Fuel retailers are reporting that rising demand has come to a sudden halt this month, despite the drop in prices. The development is indicative of the negative impact that the climate of uncertainty has had on the market.

Expectations that demand might strengthen further on the back of the growth signs apparent since July – following five years of decline – have not been fulfilled as demand has declined considerably: Unofficial data point to a 40-45 percent yearly decline in demand for heating oil in December, while in October and November demand had grown by about 70 percent from 2013.

The drop in demand for gasoline had slowed from 5.6 percent in June to 2 percent last fall, but in December it has soared to an estimated 6-7 percent.