Clearances of autodiesel were 5% lower in July 2022 at 296 million litres compared to last year, according to recently published figures by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

While autodiesel clearances matched the July 2020 figure, they were also 6% lower than before the pandemic in 2019, which is a change from the general long-term trend of increasing autodiesel volumes.

Clearances reflect the duty paid on fuel products when they arrive into the country, as opposed to when they are sold at the forecourt.

At 81 million litres in July 2022, petrol clearances fell by 3% within one year, and were 13% lower than in 2019, which fits with the general decreasing trend in petrol volumes over the last 15 years, CSO statistician Paul McElvaney said.

Image source: CSO

Excise clearances of marked gas oil, which is primarily used for off-road purposes such as agriculture and heating of larger buildings, were 6% lower in July 2022 at 99 million litres, compared to last year.

At 22 million litres, clearances of kerosene, which is mainly used as a home heating fuel, were 1% lower than in July 2021, according to most recent CSO figures.

Commenting on the wholesale price index, the prices of which are obtained from the major fuel suppliers, the CSO statistician said:

“These general decreasing trends in fuel excise clearances may be a result of rising fuel prices as shown in the wholesale price index figures, leading to consumers cutting back on fuel use over the summer months before demand increases in winter.

Image source: CSO

“The use of transport fuels such as autodiesel is less seasonal than the use of home heating fuels. Price changes, exceptionally cold weather, and storage capacity (home heating oil tanks) can all combine to create marked variations in the monthly clearances.

“Levels of activity in the economy and changes in the vehicle fleet composition can affect the volume of clearances of road fuels,” the CSO said.