Diesel prices fall for fourth straight week, according to EIA
May 08, 2012
In the up and down pattern of energy prices, diesel prices are seeing the latter, with the price per gallon falling 1.6 cents to $4.057 per gallon, according to data from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).
This marks the fourth consecutive weekly decline, which has seen prices drop a cumulative 9.1 cents. But even with 4 straight weeks of declines, diesel has been above the $4 per gallon mark for 11 straight weeks, since hitting $4.051 per gallon the week of February 27.
This week’s price stands 4.7 cents over last year at this time. And the annual gap continues to narrow sharply from comparisons in the mid-80s range just a few months ago.
Even with recent declines, shippers continue to keep a watchful eye on fuel prices and are taking steps to reduce mileage and cut down on empty miles. Steps like this were cited by many shippers at last week’s NASSTRAC Logistics Conference & Expo.
And as previously reported by LM, shippers continue to take steps to minimize the impact of fluctuating fuel costs. Over the years, they have maintained that this is imperative as higher diesel prices have 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.
A conference call hosted by Stifel Nicolaus last month, which featured Tom O’Brien CEO, TravelCenters of America and Petro Stopping Centers and Mark Hazelwood Executive Vice President, Pilot Flying J Travel, noted that “diesel fuel price will trend higher, perhaps more quickly and with more volatility than oil prices, as diesel is in great demand around the world,” adding that [t]he demand for highway diesel fuel in the U.S. has dropped by 25%+ since 2007 due to a variety of factors.”
Oil barrel prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of press time were at $95.34
per barrel, down from the low $100s range in recent weeks. An Associated Press report noted that this is the lowest price per barrel since late December, adding that lower prices are due in part to “fresh worries about the eurozone debt crisis after leadership changes in France and particularly Greece spotlighted uncertainty about austerity and growth.”
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