The new sanctions against Iran come into force on Monday. But the price of oil on the world’s stock exchanges is falling. But not the prices for fuel and heating oil. The reasons are domestic.

Heating costs continue to rise in Germany.

Dhe United States’ new punitive measures against Iran have so far not had any effect on the price of oil. On the contrary: the price of a barrel (159 liters) of Brent from the North Sea fell on Monday, this time by 0.5 percent to 72.42 dollars per barrel. “The effect of the sanctions is softened by the exceptions,” says raw materials expert Sukrit Vijayakar from the consulting firm Trifecta.

At the beginning of the week, the United States implemented punitive measures against the Iranian oil industry. This is intended, among other things, to persuade the government in Tehran to give up its nuclear and missile programs. In order to prevent a destabilization of the oil price, but also the supply of trading partners, temporary exceptions are expected to apply to eight countries. These are likely to include China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey, some of the largest buyers of Iranian oil.

Meanwhile, the price of oil has fallen by $ 13, or 15 percent, from its 47-month high in early October. That was a comparatively steep drop of 0.4 percent a day. Had the price continued to fall at this rate, it would have reached just under $ 20 in October 2019.


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Nevertheless, this is not noticeable at the petrol pumps in Germany. On a national average, diesel currently costs 1.446 euros and E10 1.542 euros. Twelve months ago prices were 25 and 18 cents lower. The price of heating oil is also at its highest level since September 2013 at 85.45 cents per liter. The price of gas oil, which is decisive for the price of heating oil, like the oil price, rose significantly from its annual high of $ 742.50 per ton $ 662 down. The price increase cannot even be blamed on the exchange rate, because the price of oil on the stock exchanges has barely fallen less sharply in euros than in dollars.

Fire and drought

One of the reasons for the rising heating oil price is the explosion in the Bayernoil refinery in Vohburg two months ago. This still cannot produce, which has already led to a shortage of bitumen and asphalt in Bavaria. It will not be possible to resume production until next spring, CEO Michael Raue recently told the Donaukurier newspaper. Asphalt could therefore be up to 25 percent more expensive, it is said.

On the other hand, the long drought does the rest. The water level of the Rhine at Düsseldorf and Worms is around 80 percent below the average, the Elbe at Lenzen by 70 percent, the Danube at Vohburg by 98 percent!

According to the heating oil price portal, that messed up the domestic price structure. In fact, heating oil is only scarce on the Middle and Upper Rhine because of the low water and in Bavaria because of the refinery fire. But because these shortages have to be covered by transports from other areas, this also drives up prices elsewhere.

The Federal Ministry of Economics released stocks from the national oil reserve two weeks ago in order to respond to the tense supply situation due to the extremely low water in the Middle and Upper Rhine area. However, allotments are also made at current market prices. In addition, the petroleum storage association will replenish its stocks after the supply bottleneck has ended.

In this respect, the approved 70,000 tons of gasoline, 150,000 tons of diesel and around 56,000 tons of kerosene have a rather slight dampening effect. In addition, the planned replenishment is likely to cause prices to fall a little more slowly later.