Spring saw a slump in sales of petrol

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Petrol sales slumped this spring despite a dip in prices at the pumps, official figures show.

Almost 500 million fewer litres were sold between April and June than in the same period last year, according to statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

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The spring 2012 fall followed a near-120 million litre rise in petrol sales in the first three months of this year when the tanker drivers’ dispute led to some panic buying.

Overall, more than two billion fewer litres of petrol and diesel were sold on forecourts in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2008 – the last period before the recession.

Between January and June 2008, retail sales of petrol and diesel reached 18.97 billion litres. In the first half of this year, retailers sold 8,758.04 million litres of petrol and 7,946.97 million litres of diesel – a total of 16.7 billion litres.

Highlighting the latest figures, AA president Edmund King said: “A 10.6 per cent fall in petrol sales this past quarter is a huge drop.”