Oil sales in decline

Austrians are buying less heating oil amid soaring prices, new figures show.The Institute for Economic Oil-Heating (IWO) announced today (Fri) private and business clients bought 1.7 billion litres of the product last year. The organisation explained this was a 0.6 per cent decline compared to figures from 2009.The IWO said it has been registering a slight and long-term decrease of sales figures. While market experts highlight that the development must be linked to rising prices, the institute pointed out that many home owners and landlords decide to exchange their old oil-fired boilers with new and more efficient ones.Austrian inflation climbed by 3.1 per cent from March 2010 to the same month of this year. An immense increase of mineral oil product prices has been identified as the main reason for the surge. Heating oil cost 29 per cent more last March than in March 2010, while car fuel prices shot up by 21 per cent.Only yesterday, the Association of the Austrian Mineral Oil Industry said that the sale of petrol rose by 1.9 per cent from the first quarter of 2010 to the same period of this year. The organisation added that the volume of diesel oil sales jumped by 2.8 per cent, while 1.1 per cent less regular car fuel was sold at the same time.