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Diesel prices inch up 1.7 cents, according to EIA data

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
December 21, 2010

Diesel prices went up 1.7 cents this week to $3.248 per gallon for the week of December 20, following a 3.4 cent gain during the week of December 13, according to data from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Diesel prices have been up for the last three weeks, and this most recent increase marks the fourth time they have hit a new two-year high, next to the week of October 27, 2008, which checked in at $3.288 per gallon.

Diesel prices have been at $3 per gallon or more for 13 consecutive weeks. Prior to the week of October 4, when diesel prices hit $3.00 per gallon, the price per gallon of diesel was below the $3.00 mark for 18 straight weeks. But the recent rise in prices is in line with gains in the price per barrel of crude oil, which has been hovering in the mid-to-high $80s, on average, during the same period. 

As of press time oil barrel prices were at $89.41 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to media reports. Recent reports have noted that the increase is tied to a decline in excess inventories in recent weeks, which is likely to continue. Even with increasing oil prices, some analysts contend that there will not be a subsequent negative impact on the slow-moving economic recovery, as rising prices have not hampered GDP growth.

The EIA is calling for 2010 crude oil prices to hit $78.98 per barrel and 2011 prices at $86.08 per barrel, according to its recently-revised short-term energy outlook. Both figures are above previous estimates of $78.80 per barrel for 2010 and $85.17 per barrel for 2011.  On the diesel side, the EIA is calling for the price per gallon of diesel in 2010 and 2011 to average $2.98 and $3.23, respectively.

As oil prices ride the wave of fluctuating prices, a recent Logistics Management reader survey of about 150 logistics, supply chain, and transportation managers found interesting disparities regarding how much shippers’ average fuel surcharges were above their base rates.

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).

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