Fuel demand falls in France

Demand for motor fuels in France dropped by 10% in June vs. year-ago figures reported by the Union Francaise des Industries Petrolieres (UFIP) trade group.

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, Aug. 1 -- Demand for motor fuels in France dropped by 10% in June vs. year-ago figures reported by the Union Francaise des Industries Petrolieres (UFIP) trade group.

"This is enormous," said UFIP President Jean-Louis Schilansky. "I cannot recall such a drop."

Fuel deliveries to retail service stations in June fell by 15% for unleaded gasoline and by 8.7% for diesel oil. Since only private motorists use unleaded gasoline, they apparently have been hit harder by high prices than the truckers, Schilansky surmised. Oil prices peaked in June.

Demand remained stable over the first half of 2008 with a slight 0.44% increase. With the June drop included motor fuel demand fell by 1.48% in first half 2008 compared with first half 2007.

It is not yet clear whether fuel demand will continue to fall as fuel prices retreat. In any case, motorists are driving far more economically and reducing speed. They also are turning increasingly to mass transportation.

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