High gasoline prices continue to drive down sales in Estonia
Gasoline sales fell by 9 percent in Estonia in June, data shows, and declined steepest in regions bordering Latvia. It is assumed Estonians are filling up down south.
"The sales volume at the beginning of June reflects the trends of the last two to three months when the sales of gasoline have fallen by 7-10 percent," said Mart Raamat, CEO of the Estonian Oil Association.
The share of octane 98 sales has slipped from 44 percent to 38 percent in June, while that of the cheaper E95 has risen.
Raamat said, as gasoline is mostly brought by private consumers, it can be seen that sales are falling faster in counties that have below-average incomes.
"This year, the sales volumes of gasoline has only risen in Harju County and Pärnu County," he said.
The fall has been sharpest in Võru and Valga counties, which border Latvia. Data from May shows the drop in gasoline sales was 13 percent.
Raamat said this is due to Latvia's "consumer-friendly fuel tax policy" which means gas prices are lower than in Estonia and from July 1 the difference is likely to be between 15-20 cents.
"The data show that Estonian taxes have started to travel to Latvia again [...] We forecast that fuel tourism will increase in the border counties," he said.
Estonian gasoline prices are currently at a record high.
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Editor: Helen Wright