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Heating oil jumped .10 overnight, and I normally wait to fill my 2 tanks until mid-summer (last July 1.89/gal).  Do I buy now or wait until July/Aug?

any help much appreciated!


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Personally, I'd wait. Takes a while for prices to catch up on contracts, but at this point I think it's better to wait and see if they drop by August. @Rodent?

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This is always a tricksy game. Forecasting oil/gas/propane prices is practically impossible. LIke any transaction, more than forecasting, I guess you'd need to weigh your risk appetite of passing on it now, and having the price climb toward the end of summer, versus the FOMO of buying now, and then finding out later that the prices fell and you couldn't take advantage. 

I can say that a lovely buying opportunity could have been had about a month or even two ago. Typically, prices are more favorable in the summer months when demand is lower, this year I wonder if we'll have an exception thanks to this Iran sanction business and Venezuela's floundering production. 

I am loathe to recommend waiting until the end of summer, for fear that as soon as I do, we'll have propane/heating oil companies looking to pass substantial cost increases onto consumers, even though they paid for it at a discount, likely a couple of months ago when prices were low. Still, their prices are based on market price, regardless of when they purchased it.

While propane and heating oil do not always move up and down with the price of crude oil, they are linked. I think most analysts are expecting crude oil prices to stay high for a bit.

A few notes to consider:

  • China is considering tariffs on propane imports from the US. This may cause a glut, pushing down prices. 
  • Propane prices rose considerably in April, as the OP stated.

good stuff here:

Basically, whether you buy now or mid/late summer, you're going to be paying more for it than you did last year. Quite a bit more. 

While I won't make a recommendation here, I will say that I'm waiting for the pre-buy deal I will be offered this summer.


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