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

The Department of Commerce reported that January retail sales were up 0.2 percent compared to December and up 3.7 percent annually at $449.9 billion, and the NRF reported that January retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, rose 0.6 percent over December and 1.4 percent compared to January 2015.

On the freight shipments side, Cass reported that January shipments––at 1.025––trailed December by 1.3 percent and January 2016 by 0.2 percent. These declines were less than the 4.9 percent drop from November to December, though, and January shipments still topped the 1.0 mark for the 65th straight month in December.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) saw a 0.4 percent decline from November to December, its second straight decline on the heels of a 1.0 percent decrease from October to November.

Carloads saw a 11.7 percent annual decline at 241,680, and intermodal containers and trailers rose 10.5 percent to 262,830

An amendment to the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea convention will go into effect requiring all shippers (importers and exporters) to certify and submit the Verified Gross Mass – the combined weight of the cargo and the container – to the steamship line and terminal operator in advance of loading the container aboard a vessel.

Comments

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


© Copyright 2016 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA