Diesel leaps 6.8¢ to $3.239 a gallon; California nears $4

From Transport Topics.

The U.S. average retail price of diesel fuel surged 6.8 cents to $3.239 a gallon, the eighth straight week that trucking’s main fuel has gone up in price, according to the weekly report from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration on May 14.

Diesel now costs 69.5 cents per gallon more than it did one year ago.

The average price of diesel rose last week in all regions nationwide. California is the most expensive

place to buy the fuel, with a gallon costing $3.929, followed by the West Coast at $3.731. Diesel prices in California have climbed $1.02 per gallon in the past year. The Gulf Coast had the lowest price at $3.012 a gallon, up 5.7 cents from last week and up 63 cents in the past year, EIA reported.

Traders on the Nymex sent the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures higher May 14 to $71.17 per barrel, up 47 cents.

The rapid increase means that carriers are left covering “the spread” until DOE publishes the new data when the carrier can bill customers for the change, said Jim Dingman, president of the fleet division of ITS Logistics in Sparks, Nev.

“For small to midsize carriers, this can mean $50,000 to $100,000 per week of unrecoverable cost for every 10 cents-per-gallon increase,” Dingman said.

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