Record high diesel fuel prices top $4 a gallon; national average $3.81

| 3/10/2008

Rumors have been floating around for weeks that the cost for a gallon of diesel was getting ready to hit the $4 a gallon mark.

It became a reality in California on Sunday, March 9, when fuel stations in the Silicon Valley raised the cost for diesel to $4.01, a jump of nearly 28.3 cents from two weeks ago. Four other states, according to ProMiles, saw diesel hit $4 per gallon. They were Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

All-time records for diesel prices are being broken daily across the country, as the weekly average price has jumped 27.7 cents nationally in the past two weeks – stunning truck drivers.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported the national average price for diesel fuel as being $3.819 on Monday, March 10, up more than $1.134 from a year ago.

The average price for ultra-low sulfur diesel increased 15.9 cents to $3.825, while the average price for low-sulfur diesel jumped 17.7 cents to $3.774 from last week.

While the EIA reports the areas farthest from the Gulf Coast “tend to have higher prices,” the agency is reporting that the Gulf Coast region has the most noticeable increase of 18.9 cents from a week ago. The Gulf Coast region is the source of nearly half of the diesel produced in the U.S., according to EIA statistics.

While the Gulf Coast region reported the biggest weekly increase, the California region still beat the national average, reporting an average of $3.955

The Lower Atlantic region reported the second highest weekly increase of 18.1 cents to $3.822, while the East Coast region has the third highest increase of 17.1 cents to $3.886.

The Central Atlantic jumped 16.4 cents to $3.993, while the Rocky Mountain region increased 15.9 cents to $3.734. Cost for diesel fuel in the West Coast region also topped the national average price at $3.891 this week.

In the Midwest region, the cost increased 13.7 cents to $3.789 per gallon. While the New England region reported the lowest increase of 12.5 cents, the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel still topped the national average at $3.938.

Light, sweet crude oil for April delivery set a record of $107.90 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday at the close of business after setting a new trading record of $108.21 earlier in the day.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland