France's drop in motor fuel demand 'unprecedented'

France's 12.3% decline in motor fuel consumption in August vs. the same time in 2007 is being called "unprecedented" by Jean-Louis Schilansky, president of oil trade group UFIP.

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, Sept. 18 -- France's 12.3% decline in motor fuel consumption in August vs. the same time in 2007 is being called "unprecedented" by Jean-Louis Schilansky, president of oil trade group Union Francaise des Industries Petrolieres.

Even more significant, Schilansky said, is the 7.1% decline spread over June, July, and August, for it points to a fundamental change in motorists' behaviour.

In June consumption fell by 8.1% and in July, by 1.4%. The decline in August—the busiest driving month—averaged a 16.9% drop in unleaded only used by private motorists, and a 10.6% drop in diesel oil.

The slack seemed to have been taken up by increased use of collective transport and restrained driving habits.

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