Gasoline and diesel sales in Turkey reached a record daily high of over 81 million liters (21.4 million gallons) in March, triggered by the coronavirus-induced panic buying and the ongoing price battle between Saudi Arabia and Russia that is flooding markets worldwide with cheap oil.
According to data released by the employers Union of Energy Petroleum Gas Supply Stations (EPGİS) Tuesday, the industry broke its sales record with daily diesel sales reaching 70 million liters and gasoline sales surging to 10.9 million liters on March 11, when Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced the first coronavirus case in Turkey.
The high sales continued on March 12 with diesel sales totaling 65.3 million liters and gasoline sales standing at 8.8 million liters, the EPGİS data showed.
The sharp rise in consumption came after the country announced discounts of TL 0.60 per liter on gasoline and TL 0.55 per liter on diesel fuel on March 10 due to the price war between Riyadh and Moscow.
EPGİS President Fesih Aktaş said the market has settled up with a daily average of 55 million liters of diesel and 8 million liters of gasoline sales two weeks after breaking the record.
Aktaş said the record-breaking sales on March 11 most likely resulted from panic buying, as it coincided with the announcement of the first COVID-19 case in Turkey. “Compared with our average daily sales, there had been a 27% increase in diesel sales, and gasoline sales surged by 40% on March 11.”