Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Diesel prices crack the $4 per gallon mark, according to EIA

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
April 12, 2011

As was widely expected, diesel prices eclipsed the $4 per gallon mark this week, according to data released this week by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A 10.2 cent weekly hike brings the current price to $4.078 per gallon, following a 4.4 cent increase last week and a 2.5 cent gain the week before. Diesel prices have been up 18 of the last 19 weeks. And on an annual basis, the price per gallon for diesel is up $1.009 per gallon.

This increase marks the first time diesel has been above the $4 per gallon mark since the week of September 15, 2008, when it hit $4.023.

As LM has reported, diesel prices and the price per barrel of oil have been increasing for many reasons, most notably due to political and civil unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, specifically in Libya in recent weeks, has resulted in oil producers in that region suspending or shuttering operations, according to media reports. This has subsequently led to tighter supplies, which is driving up oil and gas prices. And the recent earthquake and Tsunami in Japan also has the potential to lead to further prices hikes, too, say many industry experts.

At press time, the price per barrel for oil was $106.86 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to a Bloomberg report, which added that oil prices have fallen 6 percent since April 8, marking the biggest two-day retreat since Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, 2010.

The Bloomberg report added that the International Energy Agency and International Monetary Fund said that prices above $100 a barrel are starting to hurt the global economy, with the IMF citing “real risks that a sustained $100-plus price environment will prove incompatible with the currently expected pace of economic recovery.”

In terms of how these prices can impact supply chain and logistics operations at a time when freight volumes are showing slow but consistent growth, many shippers have expressed concern about the pace of these diesel increases, explaining that if prices continue to rise at their current pace, it has the potential to hinder growth and increase operating costs, which will, in turn, force them to raise rates and offset the increased prices to consumers.

This was made clear in a recent Logistics Management reader survey of roughly 250 shippers. The survey found that if fuel prices continue their ascent, 70 percent—or nearly 180—of the shippers surveyed indicated they would need to adjust their freight budget to cover higher than budgeted fuel prices.

Nearly 40 percent of shippers said they would adjust their fuel budgets by 6-to-10 percent and 15 percent of shippers said they planned to adjust budgets by 11-to-15 percent.

In any event it appears high fuel prices will continue to be the norm for the foreseeable future.

“Even if the traded price for Brent Oil falls, the price for diesel will continue to climb for a while,” said Derik Andreoli, Ph.D.c., Senior Analyst at Mercator International, LLC. “When it comes to diesel markets, oil supply is not the pricing problem. The U.S. is currently exporting one out of every five gallons produced. This goes against free market principles, but if we really wanted to bring the price down to aid our recovery, we would stop exporting this valuable commodity that means so much to our energy and national security.”

For related articles, please click here.

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).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in October at 135.7 (2000=100) was up 1.9 percent compared to September’s 133.1, and the ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment was 139.8 in October, which was 0.9 percent ahead of September.

The average price per gallon of diesel gasoline fell 3.7 cents to $2.445 per gallon, according to data issued today by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). This marks the lowest weekly price for diesel since June 1, 2009, when it was at $2.352 per gallon.

In its report, entitled “Grey is the new Black,” JLL takes a close look at supply chain-related trends that can influence retailers’ approaches to Black Friday.

This year, it's all about the digital supply network. In this virtual conference, we will define the challenges currently facing supply chain organizations and offer solutions designed to transform linear operations into dynamic, automated networks that offer seamless communication, visibility, and the ability to respond and optimize processes at any given time.

In his opening comments assessing the economy at last week’s RailTrends conference hosted by Progressive Railroading magazine and independent railroad analyst Tony Hatch, FTR Senior analyst Larry Gross said the economy continues to slog ahead at a relatively tepid pace, coupled with some volatility in terms of overall GDP growth. And amid that slogging, Gross said there is currently an economic hand-off occurring between the industrial sector and the consumer sector.


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA