Consumers may pay a higher price to stay warm this winter if South Korea bans exports of heating fuel to Japan as the bilateral trade feud deepens.

Kerosene is used as a fuel in portable stoves and fan heaters, particularly in the colder northern part of Japan. While local production accounts for about 90 percent of consumption, most imports come from South Korea. An export ban by Seoul — especially if accompanied by refinery outages or a severe winter — could cause shortages and price spikes, according to six traders.

The neighbors have been at loggerheads since late last year over compensation for Koreans forced to work in Japanese-run firms during World War II. The dispute has escalated in recent weeks with Tokyo and Seoul removing each other from preferred trading lists and Korean consumers boycotting Japanese products.