France saw a dramatic decline of 24.9% in the consumption of road fuels in March compared to the same month of last year as the country took strict precautions to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a statement from the French Union of Petroleum Industries (UFIP) late on Tuesday.
The statement including the latest figures of the Professional Oil Committee (CPDP) said the deliveries of road fuels on the French market decreased to 3,077 million cubic meters in March 2020.
Deliveries of unleaded premium fuels were down by 21.4% and those of diesel by 25.9%, the data showed.
Over the last 10 days of March with the full effect of confinement against the spread of COVID-19, the data shows that the consumption of unleaded premium fuels is down by 80% and that of diesel by 75%.
Over the period of March 2020, deliveries of jet fuel fell 38.7% and those of heating oil increased by 68.1% compared to the same month of last year.
The share of diesel in French consumption of road fuels still remains preponderant at 77.9%
"We are in front of historical figures but we are pursuing our objective of security of supply for all our customers, in particular the medical and health professions and those of road transport of goods, who, more than ever, rely on our products," Olivier Gantois, president of the UFIP, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The French government announced a nation-wide lockdown on March 23.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country reached 98,076 while the death toll was 14,967 by April 14.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya