Consumption of motor fuel in 2018 fell by around 2 per cent on the previous year, owing to no small part to more and more Greek Cypriots buying their fuel in the north, the head of the petrol station owners association said on Thursday.
Most purchases of fuel from the north by Greek Cypriot motorists occurred in the months of June, July, August and September, said Stefanos Stefanou.
He said that despite the current cold spell, demand for heating fuel is on the rise, but not as much as might have been expected.
People tend to buy small quantities at a time, he added.
High petrol and diesel prices began easing off in November with the fall in the price of crude.
Crude is now going for $53 to $54 a barrel.
The Consumers Association recently cited statistics showing a record number of residents of the Republic filling up their cars in the north, where petrol is considerably cheaper.
The state lost some €12m in tax revenue in the first seven months of the year, as more and more motorists opted to fill their tanks in the north.
During the same period, petrol stations lost close to €1m in commission.
Stations in the government-controlled areas get a commission of 5.5 cents per litre.
There are some 300 petrol stations in the south.
Earlier this month, parliament passed legislation bringing in a 5.95 cent per litre reduction in consumption tax on petrol, diesel, heating fuel and kerosene. The tax reduction is five cents but adding the reduction in VAT the total amount comes to 5.95 cents per litre.
Meanwhile the Statistical Service said that total sales for all petroleum products in November were 10.3 per cent down on the previous month.
Sales of heavy fuel oil to ships and jet fuel decreased slightly, as did invoices for light fuel oil, petrol and diesel.