It's no doubt that there's new concerns about the supply chain issues that might have had some inconveniences. There's been several signs of shortages coming that should get everyone's attention. Back in March of 2022, some of our fleet operators who buy their diesel fuel on contracts told us that their suppliers could not promise supply or lock in pricing more than 6 months out. Then we heard that the DEF additives were going to be in short supply in some regions of the U.S.
While these two bits of news were disturbing, it seems that a correction could be made. Higher prices are something we are getting used to, but not happy about. Now, just this week, we are hearing about another disturbing situation, Diesel Engine Oil. Yes, it seems that one of the major additives in blending the oil is going to be in short supply. Sometimes when you hear the term 'short supply' it means the same as 'unavailable'.
Last week, we were on the Hot Rod Power Tour both as a 'Long Hauler' and helping work a sponsor booth, namely Amsoil. While we were in the booth on several occasions, we had opportunities to talk with folks who own fleets and heavy equipment. They expressed some concerns about availability of 15w-40 Diesel Oil. They told us that they could not obtain regular bulk orders. One fleet owner told us that their oil distributor told them that they would need to change grades if they wanted product. So, when we got back from the 5 day -- 5 city tour, I started to dig a little more into this shortage issue.
What I found from several unrelated sources was that there might be a crisis on the horizon with Diesel Engine Oil. Partly related to unexplained shortages of specific additives and suppliers of these additives. Evidently, all companies blending the oil are sourcing an additive from one of two providers. It seems that this is a situation that could be easily fixed with an awareness in advance. However, one oil company has stated that the remedy might not come until mid 2023. Given the massive number of diesel engines required from agricultural, rail, truck and equipment, this will be a major disrupter of everyone. Certainly, this could turn into a crisis in America, but with a little planning it's survivable.
As of this morning, on June 23, 2022, the supplies of 15w-40 Diesel Oil is in stock at most retail outlets. The Amsoil distribution centers seem to have most all of the grades in stock and ready to ship. My suggestion would be that if you own a diesel engine, buy enough for your next two changes, or enough to get you through next year. This will help you avoid a personal crisis. The bigger problem might not be so easy. Certainly, the news of this advance warning might not be known until the crisis is upon us. AND, if they can fix the issue before it gets that bad, at least you were prepared for the worst case. My brother always used the phrase; "Plan for the worse, and hope for the best."
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UPDATE June 23, 2022 PM: Here's an update from Amsoil about this concern. Our information shows that a concern dies exist, but like many things, there are reports and over exaggerate the facts. This is the report from Amsoil:
Here’s the straight scoop: There are issues affecting the diesel oil market and the supply chain of raw materials supporting the production of diesel oil remains unstable. This is not new. We have been battling these issues for more than a year and have successfully maintained a steady supply of diesel oil and supported sales growth in the diesel market. Thanks to the diligence and creativity of our corporate team, we will be able to support our current sales trajectory for the foreseeable future. The greatest threat to our ability to maintain a steady supply of diesel products is panic buying. If Dealers, customers and accounts start buying high volumes of diesel oil out of fear of a pending shortage, they will create a shortage. If everyone maintains their typical buying habits, we should have minimal issues maintaining our supply of AMSOIL diesel oils.
There is a great deal of misinformation out there. Some of the purported “news” articles and podcasts are filled with falsehoods and half-truths. The supply-chain issues plaguing the production of diesel oils are not new. In fact, AMSOIL is in a stronger position today than we were a year ago. While those issues are real and will continue for some time, there is no truth to reports of additive manufacturers shutting down or predictions of diesel oil being unavailable for a year or more. Again, the only way those predictions come true is if everyone panics and buys a year’s supply of diesel oil (see the toilet-paper shortage in 2020). Therefore, we are asking you to maintain the status quo. Continue buying and selling diesel oils as you normally would. Take advantage of new business as it comes your way, but do not purchase or support