Diesel volumes have more or less returned to normal levels, according to the latest information released by RMI Petrol.

The Association said the return to normal for diesel is reflective of the fact that commercial vehicles, by necessity, churn their fuel more quickly than private ones, and that 70% of retail offset high-speed diesel facilities were located on independent forecourts.

Meanwhile unleaded volumes remain well below normal levels. According to the figures shown below, at its peak the panic buying saw private motorist petrol purchases soar by over 170%, and consequently the average car petrol tank is presently much closer to full than would normally be the case.

RMIP said the number of ‘stock-out’ incidents fell by 15.5% against the previous day, as supply continued to return to normal. “It is has not quite normalised yet, but it is expected to do so within 48 hours,” said a spokesman. “That said, the ‘normal position’ of recent months has been one of relatively low stock-holding due to the on-going high cost of fuel and its impact on forecourt cash flow.

“The effect of the panic-buying period combined with the onset of wintry weather is likely to result in supressed fuel volumes throughout the holiday period.”

Meanwhile fuel prices were up slightly yesterday for all grades. Petrol prices moved the most with unleaded and super unleaded up 0.4 pence and 0.5 pence respectively. Current average prices are 142.05 for unleaded and for 147.84 for diesel.

Independent forecourt fuel volume figures for April 4, 2012 against a normal week:

Diesel                                   -2.2%

Unleaded                             -24.4%

Super Diesel                       -17.5%

Super Unleaded                 -40.9%