Distributors are having problems getting oil. The volatility in price means they can’t sell you oil they haven’t bought yet as they don’t know how much they will have to pay for that oil.
As a result, many distributors are limiting quantities that can be ordered, removing online ordering and in some cases taking their websites completely offline in a rush to avoid taking orders that would cost them money.
This is not a localised issue. We monitor heating oil prices in Northern Ireland and across 11 states in America and are seeing exactly the same patterns. This is a level of volatility that we have not seen in 14 years of monitoring heating oil prices near you.
Neither consumers nor distributors want this level of volatility.
We are starting to see more distributors allow online ordering again and prices levelling off (at very high levels).
We will keep monitoring and updating prices numerous times throughout the day.
There is also scope for government to help by reducing tax on heating oil from 13.5% to be the same as in Northern Ireland at 5%. The revenue would still benefit from the level of taxes it expected to see anyway since prices are 3 times what they were.