Home-heating oil price falls to pre-Ukrainian invasion levels

Home-heating oil prices have fallen back.

Charlie Weston

THE cost of a fill of home-heating oil has fallen back to levels not seen since the Russians invaded Ukraine.

It now costs just less than a €1 for each litre of oil.

Across the country the average price of 1,000 litres of home-heating oil is €988, according to the Oilprices.ie site that monitors prices.

The invasion of Ukraine prompted a massive spike in the cost of heating oil.

It was below €1,000 at the end of February 2022, the month of the invasion.

It then jumped to over €1,600 for 1,000 litres just weeks later, according to Eamonn Mulvihill of Oilprices.ie.

“It's been a clear downward trend since June 2022, despite carbon tax increases and more sanctions on Russian oil,” he said.

Carbon tax went up again last May, with the tax adding around €20 to the cost of a full tank of oil.

Mr Mulvihill said the trend was for heating oil to keep falling over the next few months.

“I'm not seeing anything unusual at the moment so the trend makes me think it will keep falling,” he said.

Head of representative body for the heating-oil distributors Nicholas Hayes said it has been around 12 months since heating oil was €1 a litre.

Prices has been dropping for six weeks now, said Mr Hayes of the UK-Ireland Fuel Distributors’ Association.

This reflects lower crude oil prices. Crude prices have fallen sharply due to lower demand from China and fears we may have a global recession.

Mr Hayes, whose organisation represents 75pc of heating-oil distributors, said demand was still strong from households seeking oil-tank fills.

Last December’s Arctic weather conditions led to panic buying of home-heating oil, with distributors forced to restrict supplies.

A massive surge in demand ahead of Christmas has also led to delays of up to a week for some households getting a delivery of kerosene.

Some oil distributors had notices on their websites saying they are out of stock, with others removing prices from their sites.

The huge demand saw prices shoot up to an average of €1,258.

Falls in the cost of home-heating oil come as the latest survey of petrol and diesel prices at the pumps show that prices are largely unchanged this month.

Petrol costs an average of €1.65 a litre across the country, according to the latest AA Ireland fuels survey.

This is the same price it was in February. Diesel down 2c per litre to €1.66.

It emerged recently that the Exchequer is expected to reap millions of euro from the move to phase out the reduced excise rate on petrol and diesel.

The scrapping of the lower rate of duty on the fuels could add €10 to the cost of a tank of fuel.

Finance Minister Michael McGrath has confirmed to Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan that the estimated additional receipts in a full year from the increases in excise duty of a total of 21c on petrol and diesel will amount to over €700m.

The stability in the price of petrol and diesel comes after crude oil prices have fallen to three-month lows in the last while.