A little bird has informed me that the supply of oil to blenders of the stuff is currently compromised, possibly due to heavy demand in other parts of the world, but largely down to the global pandemic.
The reason for this is that automotive (and other) oils are a by-product of fuel production. The massive downturn in air travel, as well as other travel type restrictions has seen fuel production plummet and without fuel production, the manufacture of the base mineral oils which go to make the lovely lubricants that our beloved classic cars love to slurp could be slowing to a crisis point.
UK oil stockists have thus far managed to buffer the effects of this problem, but only by fluke, as largely they stocked up on products in anticipation of supplies slowing due to Brexit. Luckily, Brexit hasn’t posed too much of a problem for the sector, meaning that stocks have remained healthy up until now.
In anticipation of this potential crisis, some manufacturers of automotive oil products have become reluctant to take on new business, as they concentrate on current customer bases and indeed some have been forced to increase their prices on up to three occasions within the past few months alone.
While this may not yet be noticeable to the consumer, there may come a point in the not-too-distant future when prices start to increase and perhaps availability becomes compromised.
The likely first noticeable signs of this will see small stockists, of the type which regularly trade via online auction sites, running out of stock, or increasing prices to reduce demand and keep products available… at a price of course.
If the situation continues, larger stockists will almost certainly increase prices to temper demand and indeed some have already done so.
Large suppliers and blenders have already introduced curbs on sellers of oils from placing unusually large orders as well as the aforementioned veto on taking on new business, so this may not be an easy ride for consumers, given time.
It may be advisable to check with stockists the availability of products your classic motor vehicle requires in the short to medium term.
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