Diesel Fuel Prices Reach Highest Level in 4 Years

The Department of Energy reported the retail average price for diesel gas rose to its highest level in four years. Last week’s average price for diesel fuel was $4.15 per gallon. This was the highest average price since August 2008.

In a survey conducted at fueling stations on Oct 15, the department reported the average price for diesel fuel one year ago was $3.801 per gallon. One of the main reasons for the high prices in fuel is low inventories of distillate. Distillate is the portion of the oil that yields diesel and heating oil. Inventory for distillate on Oct 12 was at 118.7 million barrels in the United States. This compares to a level of 128.6 million barrels in October of last year. Overall the average price per gallon of diesel has remained at over $4.00 per gallon for nine consecutive weeks.

Pricing for regular gasoline dropped by 3.1 cents last week to an average price of $3.819 per gallon. The spread between diesel and regular gasoline was a difference of 33.1 cents per gallon. This is the widest spread since February 20 when the difference was 36.9 per gallon. According to analysts the spread is higher than normal for this time of year. This spread more than likely will grow in the coming months because of winter and global demands.

Another factor in diesel prices is harvest season in the Midwest. The price of diesel fuel in the Midwest rose 11 cents a gallon last week. The price per gallon for diesel in the Midwest was $4.15 per gallon. At this time lower inventories are driving prices more than colder temperatures.

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