Diesel prices are up 1.0 cents per gallon
August 30, 2011
Diesel prices headed north for the first time in a month, rising 1.0 cents to $3.820 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.
Prior to this week’s gain, the price per gallon for diesel had fallen 2.5 cents, 6.2 cents, 4 cents, and 1.2 cents per gallon, respectively over the previous four weeks. And before that month of declining prices, diesel saw a cumulative 9.9 cent gain over a three week period. Current prices are 32.4 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 second 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.
On a year-over-year basis, diesel prices are up 88.2 cents per gallon. And in its recently-revised short-term energy outlook, the EIA is calling for diesel prices to average $3.83 per gallon in 2011 and $3.96 in 2012, with oil pegged at $95.71 per barrel in 2011 and $101.00 in 2012.
The price per barrel for oil is currently trading at $87.34 on the New York Mercantile Exchange and is up 7 cents from Monday, due in part to a Department of Commerce report which showed that consumer spending in July was up 0.8 percent, which represents the largest single month consumer spending gain in five months.
With oil prices remaining in the $80-to-$90 per barrel range, prices are 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 a recent Associated Press report.
And while diesel prices have been below the $4 per gallon mark, shippers and carriers have told LM the still relatively high prices remain a concern. . 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.
According to the results of an LM reader survey conducted earlier this year, 93 percent of roughly 250 shippers said they expect to pay higher fuel surcharges in the coming months, and 70 percent said that if prices go up steadily they would raise or adjust their budget to cover higher than budgeted fuel prices.
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