LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — After several weeks of declines, average U.S. diesel prices are rising again.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel sat at $4.545 on Oct. 23, that’s up from $4.444 on Oct. 16 and $4.498 on Oct. 9.
Not everywhere in the nation saw increases, however.
New England and the Central Atlantic region saw slight declines again. In New England, the average price sat at $4.551 as of Oct. 23, and in the Central Atlantic, it was $4.668 on Oct. 23.
Prices also decreased along the West Coast to $5.468. That’s down from $5.528 on Oct. 16.
Prices rose along the Gulf Coat to $4.186 on Oct. 23, and in the Midwest, the average price rose to $4.554 as of Oct. 23.
Fifty years after the 1973 Arab oil embargo, the current crisis in the Middle East has the potential to disrupt global oil supplies and push prices higher. But don’t expect a repeat of the catastrophic price hikes and long lines at the gasoline pump, experts say.
The Israel-Hamas war is “definitely not good news” for oil markets already stretched by cutbacks in oil production from Saudi Arabia and Russia and expected stronger demand from China, the head of the International Energy Agency said.
Markets will remain volatile, and the conflict could push oil prices higher, “which is definitely bad news for inflation,” Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based IEA, told The Associated Press. Developing countries that import oil and other fuels would be the most affected by higher prices, he said.
International benchmark Brent crude closed at $93 a barrel on Oct. 20, up from $85 on Oct. 6, the day before Hamas attacked Israel, killing hundreds of civilians. Israel immediately launched airstrikes on Gaza, destroying entire neighborhoods and killing hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the days that have followed.
Fluctuations since the attack pushed oil prices as high as $96.
The price of oil depends on how much of it is getting used and how much is available. The latter is under threat because of the Hamas-Israel war, even though the Gaza Strip is not home to major crude production.
One worry is that the fighting could lead to complications with Iran, home of some of the world’s largest oil reserves. Its crude production has been constrained by international sanctions, but oil is still flowing to China and other countries.
“In order to get a sustained move (in prices), we really would need to see a supply disruption,” said Andrew Lipow, president at Lipow Oil Associates, a Houston-based consultant.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.