Heating oil prices jump and farm deliveries hit

Kerosene heating oil remains in short supply after fresh snowfall disrupted already-stretched deliveries.

More than 5% of Britain’s 26m homes are not on mains gas – mostly those in rural areas – and rely on kerosene for central heating and hot water.

The government has issued warnings that 2m homes, schools and hospitals could face fuel rationing this winter.

And prices have risen sharply, with some analysts reporting a 73% hike in prices since early September.

In the week before Christmas, fuel dealers in the south of England were quoting 7 January as the earliest date for farm deliveries, with prices ranging from 78p a litre to £1 a litre.

In the same period, however, crude oil prices have risen just 17% to $94 a barrel. Gas prices have also failed to keep pace with kerosene price hikes.

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