While diesel prices increased for the tenth consecutive week, the pace of growth was subdued, rising 0.5 cents to $4.132 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).
This marks the fourth consecutive week prices have been north of the $4 per gallon mark, which has not previously occurred since the week of May 14, when it was at $4.026 per gallon. And it is the highest price per gallon since the week of April 9, when it was at $4.148.
Prior to these recent gains, diesel prices sank for 12 straight weeks, falling a cumulative 50 cents during that period. On an annual basis, the price per gallon of diesel is up 27 cents.
In its recently updated short-term energy outlook, the EIA is calling for diesel prices to average $3.84 per gallon in 2012 and $3.62 in 2013 (down from previous estimates of $3.90 and $3.87, respectively), with WTI crude oil expected to hit $93.90 per barrel in 2012 and $90.25 in 2013 (down from previous estimates of $96.80 and $97.00, respectively).
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.
What’s more, shippers have repeatedly told LM they are constantly monitoring fuel prices, as they relate to freight rates and the overall costs of doing business.
And 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.
The price per barrel of crude oil is currently trading at $96.54 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.