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Austria’s OMV began restricting fuel sales at its filling stations in Hungary on March 8 after a government cap on prices sparked a buying spree among consumers, a company spokesperson told Reuters on Friday.

Ministers introduced a cap on retail fuel prices at 480 forints ($1.39) per liter in November and extended the measure on Feb. 28 to wholesalers to help retailers cope with rising costs.

Fuel demand at OMV’s filling stations in Hungary has “increased dramatically” since the extension, the spokesperson said.

The price cap – which is substantially below market prices – triggered extreme demand from lorries transiting Hungary and retail buyers from neighboring countries, forcing the government to restrict eligibility for subsidized fuel.

OMV has capped refueling at 100 liters per transaction at its “normal” pumps and 300 liters per transaction at its “high-pressure diesel” pumps in Hungary, the company said. (Reporting by Rowena Edwards; Editing by Jason Neely and Jan Harvey)

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