Gasoline consumption in Germany drops by 13 percent

Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, Germans have used significantly less fuel than usual. Home office and short-time work have significantly reduced commuter traffic.

Car traffic at night: During the crisis it was quiet on the streets - now there are traffic jams again when the traffic increases and the construction sites remain.

UIn the first half of the year, gasoline consumption in Germany was around 13 percent below the previous year’s figure. This put the strong decline due to the shutdown of the economy in April of around 35 percent in perspective again, as reported by the Mineralölwirtschaftsverband (MWV), which represents the German oil industry. The fuel prices were also well below those of the previous year.

“In the case of sales of mineral oil products, there are opposing effects that partially offset each other,” said the association’s general manager Christian Küchen. In the summer months it became noticeable that the Germans are taking fewer long-distance trips due to the corona pandemic and spending their holidays more often in Germany. Here, again because of the pandemic, the car is used more than the train.

Partly opposing effects

On the other hand, the home office and short-time work would have increased in professional life, which would save a lot of commuting to work and the corresponding fuel consumption. The fact that many major events and trade fairs were canceled also reduced car traffic. Business trips have decreased overall, but the proportion of business trips taken by car has increased. “As a result, fuel sales fell by more than a tenth in the first half of the year,” said Küchen.

However, sales of aviation fuel are still drastically low. It fell by 44.6 percent in the first six months compared to the same period of the previous year. Sales of all mineral oil products fell by 6.9 percent during this period, diesel sales by 9.5 percent and for Super E5 and E10 by 13.3 percent. In contrast, sales of heating oil rose by 25.8 percent. In some cases, the refineries had deliberately produced more heating oil in order to utilize capacities that were idle due to lower fuel sales.

No need for jet fuel

If you look at the development of the individual Corona months, there was a collapse in gasoline sales, especially in April, and since then the development has slowly returned to normal. In June, even more diesel fuel was produced in Germany than in the same period of the previous year, which indicates certain catch-up effects. However, according to the Mineralölwirtschaftsverband, the price of diesel fuel is still “significantly” below the previous year’s figure of around EUR 1.23 at the end of August 2019 at around EUR 1.08 per liter.

In the past week, the fuel prices developed inconsistently, as the car club ADAC reports in an evaluation of the prices of more than 14,000 petrol stations. While the price for the liter of Super E10 rose by 0.3 cents to 1.248 euros, it fell for the liter of diesel by 0.6 cents to 1.076 euros.

Crude oil a bit more expensive again

Meanwhile, the price of crude oil has risen somewhat since the weekend to recently at times 45.77 dollars per barrel (barrel of 159 liters) of the North Sea variety Brent. The analysts at Commerzbank blamed, among other things, concerns about production downtimes in the United States caused by hurricane “Laura”.