After two weeks of soaring oil prices, consumers in Northern Ireland could be due some much-needed good news as prices look like they are stabilizing.
Some buyers are even reporting a decrease in costs with one survey showing the price for 500 liters dropping from a peak of £ 640 to £ 513.
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The Northern Ireland Consumer Council reported that as of Wednesday evening the cost of 500 liters of home heating oil was £ 513.53, the average cost for 300 liters was £ 317.28 while 900 liters will cost an average of £ 899.58.
The cheapest 500 liters was in Derry City and Strabane where it cost an average of £ 499.33 while the most expensive was in the Mid Ulster area were prices topped £ 530.31.
The average cost in Belfast was £ 504.81. The lowest price was 300 liters for £ 298.11 in Derry while 900 liters in Mid Ulster will set you back £ 933.67.
It had been hoped that home heating oil prices in particular could be set to fall across Northern Ireland as global oil prices stabilise.
Heating oil has become significantly more expensive in recent months with 500 liters of oil rising by £ 227 in just one week, according to the latest NI Consumer Council figures.
Today global oil prices fell to under $ 100 per barrel having hit more than $ 127 a matter of weeks ago.
However, a note of caution has been sounded.
Peter McClenaghan, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability at the Consumer Council said: “Global wholesale prices have dropped over 20% from a week ago, however, consumers should expect prices to remain high for some time.
“We have been tracking local oil prices charged to consumers on a daily basis and pleasingly there had been some price reduction in the past week, albeit small.
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“Northern Ireland is at the mercy of the global markets because we import nearly all of our heating oil supplies, meaning consumers here are at risk when global prices fluctuate as our local suppliers are unable to influence these prices and the costs are passed on to consumers .
“The Consumer Council will continue to engage with the Northern Ireland Oil Federation to ask that when wholesale prices decrease that this is passed on to consumers as soon as possible.”
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