Fuel volumes over the bank holiday weekend were significantly down against the previous Easter, according to figures released by RMI Petrol today.

Over the four-day Easter holiday, diesel was down by 2.9%, while unleaded volumes were 29.4% lower than Easter 2011. Super diesel was 60.7% down, and super unleaded was 39.2% lower.

Previous panic buying last week caused by the threat of a tanker driver strike was the main contributor to these depressed volumes, with many motorists already having fuller tanks than usual.

Some forecourts were out of stock of the super grades as their supply had not had time to return to normal. RMI Petrol said this was most likely due to the fact that those grades experienced the greatest percentage uplift in sales during the panic buying period, and also because the oil companies gave these grades lower ‘supply replenishment priority’.

In addition, RMI Petrol said there is no hard evidence of independent forecourt operators having ‘stocked up’ as a result of the weak Easter demand. It said suppliers were just able to better replenish more forecourts so overall energy resilience for retail road fuels remains at a relatively low ebb.

The most likely external factor for depressed fuel volumes over the Easter period was the weather with conditions being significantly worse this year than for 2011.

The volume figures were taken from Background2’s Flow Web reporting platform for independent petrol retailers on April 10.