With the retail price of RON 97 petrol hitting an all-time high in Malaysia, reaching RM4.70 a litre two weeks ago, the question is not whether sales of the fuel have fallen, but how much.

We now have a rough idea.According to Shell Petroleum Distributors Association of Malaysia (SPDAM) chairman Datuk Abdul Wahid Beadin, sales of RON 97, which began to plummet when its retail price crossed the RM4 mark, have now fallen by at least 65% as China Press Report.

“Sales of RON 97 have dropped significantly since rising above RM4 a month ago. However, this has not really impacted petrol station revenue as consumers of fuel will switch to RON 95,” he said. He added that whether it is RON 97 or RON 95, dealers earn 15 sen per litre from selling petrol, so even if the price of RON 97 rises and sales drop, dealers still get a commission for selling RON 95.

He added that the increase in RON 97 price will not only affect users, because if people pay for RON 97 with a credit card, the profits of gas station operators will be reduced. “When a customer uses a credit card, the operator has to pay a 1% transaction fee per litre of petrol, which means the higher the petrol price, the more we incur,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) chairman Datuk Khairul Annu Abdul Aziz said sales of RON 97 had been declining for some time and started to drop significantly after its price exceeded RM3.50 per litre.

“This is nothing new. Customers have switched to RON 95 before, so it doesn’t seem like the switch is that big now. As for how much national sales of RON 97 have dropped, I can’t say exactly how much. Some gas stations a day ago 2,000 liters of RON 97 were sold, and now only 300 liters are sold,” he told the publication.