Diesel prices rise again, hit $1.748 in New England

| Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The average U.S. retail price of diesel fuel increased to $1.559 from the previous average of $1.551, the Department of Energy reported.

The trend may continue, as Kuwaiti Energy Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah said Jan. 17 OPEC may have to cut its output to offset a big surplus in the second quarter.

"There will be a big surplus in the second quarter on the markets, which will result in a big drop in prices; therefore, we should work to cut production," the Kuwaiti energy minister said as reported by Reuters news service. "But we must be sure of this information through observation and consultations with the rest of the OPEC countries at the upcoming meeting in February."

For the second week, the highest average price is in frigid New England, where diesel fuel reached $1.748; in the Central Atlantic where the price is $1.705; and in California, at $1.672 a gallon. The lowest prices are in the Midwest, at $1.526, and on the Gulf Coast, at $1.527.

Other average prices: the West Coast, where the price is $1.632; the Rocky Mountain region, where the price is $1.540; the Lower Atlantic region, where the average price is $1.539; and $1.598 on the East Coast.