Diesel prices head up for fifth consecutive week
August 07, 2012
Diesel prices increased for the fifth straight week, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The price per gallon saw a 5.4 cent gain to $3.85 per gallon, and prices have risen a cumulative 20.2 cents over the last five weeks.
Prior to these recent gains, diesel prices sank for 12 straight weeks, falling a cumulative 50 cents during that period.
In its recently updated short-term energy outlook, the EIA is calling for diesel prices to average $3.90 per gallon in 2012 and $3.87 in 2013 (down from previous estimates of $4.06 and $4.03, respectively), with oil expected to hit $96.80 in 2012 and $97.00 in 2013 (down from previous estimates of $104.12 and $103.75, respectively).
Even with low prices for diesel, shippers continue to keep a watchful eye on fuel prices and are taking steps to reduce mileage and cut down on empty miles. This was made clear at June’s eyefortransport 3PL Summit in Chicago. Many shippers told LM that they are constantly monitoring fuel prices, as they relate to freight rates and the overall costs of doing business.
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.
An April conference call hosted by Stifel Nicolaus, 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.”
The price per barrel for oil was at $92.56 at press time, with the Associated Press reporting that analysts estimated that supplies of U.S. crude and gasoline likely dropped last week. The AP added that crude has hovered near $90 for the last few weeks as investors weigh weak global economic growth against possible monetary and fiscal stimulus measures.
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