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Weekly retail diesel price harkens back to 2014 levels

Increase of more than 2 cents brings benchmark price to highest level in 6+ years

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

The weekly Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration retail diesel price is at a level that hasn’t been seen since December 2014.

At $3.406 per gallon, the benchmark price for fuel surcharges has not been at this lofty level since a price of $3.419/gallon on Dec. 15, 2014. The difference is that price was a one-week stop on a long slide that began that fall, with the DOE/EIA retail diesel price bottoming out below $2/g in February 2016. (It had been above $4 in February 2014.)

Diesel’s current increase can be measured from numerous stops along the volatile market of the last year. But on Nov. 2, the price of $3.372/g was the low point before a run of 20 consecutive weeks of increases, which was later followed by 12 consecutive weeks of increases in May to help boost it toward its current level.

There is no relief in sight for truckers paying these prices. The CME commodity price of ultra low sulfur diesel on Monday rose 2.89 cents/g, settling at $2.296/g. That is the highest level since October 2018.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.