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Diesel prices are down another 2.5 cents per gallon

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
August 23, 2011

Diesel prices fell for the fourth straight week, decreasing 2.5 cents to $3.810 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

This follows declines of 6.2 cents, 4 cents and 1.2 cents from the previous three weeks. Prior to the last four weeks of downward prices, diesel saw a cumulative 9.9 cent gain over a three week period. Current prices are 31.4 cents below the 2011 high of $4.124 per gallon the week of May 2.

The current price per gallon for diesel is at its lowest point since the week of February 28, when it was at $3.716 per gallon.The price per gallon for diesel fuel has not exceeded the $4 mark since the week of May 16, when it hit $4.061.

Compared to last year at this time, diesel prices are up 85.3 cents. In its short-term energy outlook, the EIA is calling for diesel prices to average $3.86 per gallon in 2011 and $3.95 in 2012, with oil pegged at $98.43 per barrel in 2011 and $102.50 in 2012.

Oil barrel prices are currently trading at around $85.50 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, with the current trading range of between $80 and $90 per barrel is still well above last year’s average of $79.64 per barrel, which means gasoline pump prices should remain higher than last year’s levels, according to an Associated Press report.

As LM has reported, given the fluctuation—and still high prices—of diesel, shippers and carriers remain concerned about the price of diesel and oil. While many have indicated that prices at current levels are still digestible, they cautioned that could quickly change depending on how quickly prices rise.

And even with declines in prices in recent weeks, the focus from a supply chain perspective for managing fuel price ebbs and flows—for shippers—is more on utilization and efficiency by doing things like driving empty miles out of transportation networks.

While diesel prices appear to be in check to a large degree for the time being, many industry observers maintain there is no real rhyme and reason in terms of fluctuating fuel prices.

“There has never been a period of volatility in fuel prices like there has been in the last year,” said Mike Regan, president of TranzAct Technologies and a frequent blogger for LM, in a recent interview. “That means the fact that prices are down is no indication that the prices are going to stay down or rise sharply.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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