Diesel costs dip slightly as oil prices fall

| Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Diesel prices across the country fell slightly on April 13 from their record highs earlier in the week.

According to ProMiles, the average cost of diesel in the United States April 13 was $2.328 per gallon, down 1.2 cents from their peak of $2.34 per gallon April 12.

Washington state had the highest prices, coming in at $2.693 per gallon, though even that was down slightly from $2.697 April 12.

Only one state, Idaho, showed any increase April 13, rising less than a penny to $2.482 per gallon. 

Industry analysts said the drop in prices is a reflection of the drop in crude oil prices the market experienced Wednesday.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, prices for light, sweet crude oil fell as low as $50.08 per barrel in trading April 13. That’s a sharp decline from the record highs above $58 per barrel reached the week of April 3.

The price dip came following a forecast of slowing growth in oil demand from the International Energy Agency. In its report, issued April 12, the agency lowered its estimate for world oil demand growth thanks to rising U.S. interest rates and energy costs.

The news that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries – which supplies nearly 40 percent of the world’s oil – may increase its daily production by as much as 500,000 per barrel in May is also being credited with slowing the growth of fuel prices.

Owner-operators, of course, have been the hardest hit by the fuel crunch, with many left wondering just how much longer they can hold out.

One thing that could help them is the fuel surcharge provision currently making its way through Congress. The provision was recently approved by the U.S. House as part of its version of the highway bill. Another version is currently making its way through the Senate.

The language in the House bill at Section 4139 requires all motor carriers, brokers and freight forwarders running truckload freight to implement fuel surcharges and pass on 100 percent of those charges to the person who actually pays for the fuel.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is urging truckers to write, fax and call their U.S. senators and urge them to include the same fuel surcharge language in the Senate’s version of the bill.

If truckers are uncertain who their senators are, they can contact OOIDA’s Membership Department and they will look up the information. The toll-free OOIDA number is 1-800-444-5791.

Truckers can also call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, give the operator their ZIP code and be directly connected to their senator’s office.

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