At-the-pump, on-highway diesel was up 2 and a half cents today for the national average and up across all reporting regions of the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration, in some areas up by as much as five and a half cents per gallon.
National diesel shot up closer to the $4-a-gallon mark to $3.927 today compared with $3.902 last week.
In the California reporting area, where diesel usually is more expensive than elsewhere in the country, the fuel was costing truckers 5 and a half cents more, at $4.137 a gallon today compared with $4.082 last week.
The national average price was 7.7 cents higher than it was at this same time in 2012.
The retail price of a gallon of diesel fuel reflects the underlying costs and profits or losses of producing and delivering the product to customers. The price of diesel at the pump reflects the costs and profits of the entire production and distribution chain including:
• The cost of crude oil to refineries
• Refining costs and profits
• Distribution and marketing costs and profits and retail station operation, and
The EIA reports that the price at the pump also includes federal, state, and local taxes. At the end of 2010, federal excise taxes were 24.4 cents per gallon, and state excise taxes averaged about 23 cents per gallon. Some states, counties, and city governments levy additional taxes.
The retail price also reflects local market conditions and factors such as the location and the marketing strategy of the owner. Some retail outlets are owned and operated by refiners, while others are independent businesses that purchase diesel fuel on the wholesale market for resale to the public.
Crude oil prices are determined by worldwide supply and demand. On the demand side of the equation, world economic growth is the biggest factor.
One of the major factors on the supply side is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which can sometimes exert significant influence on prices by setting an upper production limit on its members, which produce about 40 percent of the world's crude oil.
For more details on what diesel is selling for in various regions across the country, click here.
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