Hamster purchases of heating oil for the home cause prices to rise sharply and lead to delays in delivery

PANIC BUYING of domestic heating oil due to arctic weather conditions has pushed up prices and forced traders to cut supplies.

The massive surge in demand ahead of Christmas has also meant some households are receiving up to a week’s worth of kerosene deliveries.

Some oil dealers have notices on their websites saying they are out of stock, while others remove prices from their websites.

Prices had fallen in previous months, but that has now reversed.

Prices had fallen 30 percent since March, but yesterday they shot up by almost €80 for 1,000 liters to an average of €1,258, according to price comparison site Oilprices.ie.

Oilprices.ie’s Eamonn Mulvihill said: “This is a change of direction, previously prices had been falling.

“Some companies have supply problems. Some have completed online orders or limited orders.”

He said a number of traders limited deliveries to 500 liters, with some capping at 300 liters for each delivery to households.

He said the last time he saw such a sharp one-day rise in prices was just after the Russians invaded Ukraine.

Around 1.5 million households use kerosene to heat their homes, most of them in rural areas.

The head of the heating oil dealers’ agency, Nicholas Hayes, said many families have been reluctant to buy kerosene because prices have been so high.

1,000 liters cost 1,680 euros in March.

But now people were rushing to fill their tanks, said Mr Hayes of the UK-Ireland Fuel Distributors’ Association.

“The demand has increased enormously. People had previously held back from buying because the price was so high. There’s hamster buying,” he said.

But a combination of sub-zero temperatures and the approaching Christmas have now led to hamster purchases, he said.

He said traders would limit supplies to 500 liters to ensure as many people as possible could be accommodated.

And he stressed that this is enough fuel to heat most homes for at least three months.

He said there was a surge in demand at the start of the Ukrainian invasion and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But he stressed that there should be enough fuel for all this time. A ship with a huge stockpile of fuel was due to dock in Dublin in the coming days, Hayes said.

“I am not aware of any shortage of supplies. It’s tight, but we’ll make it,” he said.

Mr Hayes said many people expect next-day delivery when ordering heating oil, but deliveries have been taking a few days to come due to heavy demand at the moment.

World oil prices have fallen in recent months on fears of a global recession and Covid restrictions in China, which have weakened demand.

While diesel prices at the pump have historically fallen to their lowest since Russia invaded Ukraine, this is rare good news as consumers grapple with a severe cost of living crisis.

And gas prices have fallen sharply to bring them back to levels not seen since September last year.

Diesel prices have fallen 22 cents in the last month alone, down 11 per cent, according to the latest AA Ireland fuel survey.

Gasoline prices are down almost 10 cents in the last month, with pump prices down 17 cents.

https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/panic-buying-of-home-heating-oil-sends-prices-up-sharply-and-leads-to-delivery-delays-42224387.html Hamster purchases of heating oil for the home cause prices to rise sharply and lead to delays in delivery

Fry Electronics Team

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