Diesel prices head up after ten straight weeks of declines

The average price per gallon of diesel gasoline snapped a ten-week stretch of declines, rising 2.1 cents to $3.866 per gallon this week, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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The average price per gallon of diesel gasoline snapped a ten-week stretch of declines, rising 2.1 cents to $3.866 per gallon this week, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Diesel dropped 0.6 cents last week and was preceded by declines of 3.6 cents, 5.5 cents, and 1.6 cents, respectively, over the previous three weeks.

During the ten weeks of declining prices, diesel prices dropped a cumulative 31.4 cents. Last week’s average of $3.845 was the lowest level for diesel since hitting $3.85 the week of April 6.

Prior to the previous ten weeks of declining prices, diesel prices rose a cumulative 26.5 cents over a six week span. And on an annual basis, the average price per gallon is down 13.6 cents.

The EIA recently updated its short-term energy outlook. It is now calling for diesel prices to average $3.93 in 2013 (up from $3.90) and $3.79 in 2014 (down from $3.80), with WTI crude oil at $93.17 in 2013 (up from $91.92) and $92.25 in 2014 (up from $92.17).

Regardless of the fluctuation in diesel prices, shippers are cognizant of the impact diesel prices can have on their bottom line—for better or worse.

And they continue to be proactive on that front, too, by taking steps to reduce mileage and transit lengths when possible as well as cut down on empty miles. And even through shippers want to adjust budgets in order to offset the increased costs higher fuel prices bring, it is not always an easy thing to manage.

Shippers have told LM that adjusting budgets is only part of the solution when it comes to dealing—and living—with fuel price fluctuation. 

This was evident in the results of a recent Logistics Management reader study, which polled 420 respondents on their diesel spend.

Nearly 16 percent (15.5) of respondents said that their average fuel surcharge is less than 5 percent above base rates, and 13.8 percent said it was 6-to-10 percent higher. And 14.5 percent said it was 11-to-15 percent higher, with 11.9 percent indicating it was 16-to-20 percent higher. More than 30 percent—33.3 percent—said it was more than 20 percent higher, and 11 percent said they were unsure.

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