Diesel prices up again, crude prices dip

| Monday, August 16, 2004

The national average U.S. retail price of diesel fuel has increased to $1.825 from the previous week’s average of $1.814, the Department of Energy reported Monday, Aug. 16.

The highest average prices in the nation continue to be found in California, at $2.113 per gallon. For the West Coast region, the price is $2.029. The lowest prices are in the Lower Atlantic region at $1.763, and in the Gulf Coast region, where the price is $1.765.

Other prices included the East Coast region, where the average price is $1.811; the New England region, at $1.910; the Central Atlantic region, at $1.903; the Midwest region, at $1.797; and the Rocky Mountain region, at $1.862.

Meanwhile, crude oil futures declined from a record high Monday after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez survived a recall referendum, easing fears of a disruption in supply from the world’s fifth-largest exporter, ABC News reported.

The U.S. light crude declined to $46.30 a barrel, after peaking at $46.91 a barrel earlier in the day Monday, which was the highest price since the New York Mercantile Exchange launched oil futures in 1983.

The hotly contested poll in Venezuela is one of a slew of factors worldwide that have driven crude prices to a series of record highs in recent weeks, and some say Monday’s decline could be short-lived.

Troubling signs including unrest in Iraq and the battle by Russian oil giant Yukos to fend off bankruptcy could disrupt supplies at a time when global crude demand is robust. Market watchers say there’s little spare capacity anywhere to make up for shortfalls.

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