Figures for fuel consumption fall to lowest level since 1990s

Report shows “unprecedented” six-percent drop in 2012 amid sustained high prices for consumers

Fuel consumption fell an "unprecedented" six percent in 2012, as prices continued to rise, the National Energy Commission (CNE) said Friday.

Although the December figure is still missing, consumer behavior to November was enough for the CNE to state in a report that "fuel consumption will register the greatest annual fall in 2012 since the beginning of the crisis in 2007, consolidating at levels of the 1990s."

The industry watchdog noted that despite dwindling demand, fuel prices continued to rise. The CNE said this increase cannot be solely explained by higher raw material prices. To August, operators maintained "a gross distribution margin of over 20 cents a liter, the highest in recent years."

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