[holding answer 4 March 2010]: This winter we witnessed an increase in the price of heating oil, both wholesale and retail. Wholesale heating oil prices reached a peak of $729.75 (8 January 2010), a 14-month high. Retail heating oil prices reached a peak of 43.11p/1 (18 January 2010), a 15-month high. While distributors faced access problems due to poor weather conditions, heating oil prices are driven primarily by demand changes and crude prices, which increased in the same period.
The peak in prices follows on from a general upward trend in the price of heating oil and crude oil since the beginning of 2009. However current prices are still well below the record levels reached in July 2008. Indeed the retail heating oil price is currently 42.20p/l (1 March 2010), 33 per cent. below the 2008 peak, while the wholesale heating oil price is currently $689/tonne (1 March 2010), 53 per cent. below the 2008 peak.