Diesel Inches Up 0.6¢ to $3.258 a Gallon

September 11th, 2018


Category: Transportation

(Transport Topics) – The U.S. average retail price of diesel inched up 0.6 cent to $3.258 a gallon, while crude oil prices fell amid questions over supplies in light of looming sanctions against Iran.

Trucking’s main fuel costs 45.6 cents a gallon more than it did a year ago, when the price was $2.802, the Department of Energy said Sept. 10.

Averages rose in all regions but New England and the West Coast less California.

The national average price for regular gasoline rose 0.9 cent to $2.833 a gallon, DOE’s Energy Information Administration said. The average is 14.8 cents higher than it was a year ago.

Average gasoline prices rose in all regions.

Crude oil futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed Sept. 10 at $67.54 per barrel compared with $69.87 on Sept. 4.

Crude oil slipped in New York as investors weighed a potential production surge from Saudi Arabia and Russia against concern that sanctions against Iran will trigger a global supply crunch, Bloomberg News reported.

Meanwhile, the Mid-Atlantic states took steps to expedite fuel deliveries and other critical shipments as they prepared for the effects of Hurricane Florence, which is forecast to make landfall about one year after Hurricane Irma roared into Florida.

Florence, with the potential to become a Category 5 storm when it comes ashore, is bearing down on the Southeast Atlantic coast, where it could make landfall by the end of this week, then work inland, according to forecasters.

It was 1,230 miles east southeast of Cape fear, N.C., at midday Sept. 10, with winds of 130 mph. It was moving west at 13 mph.

In anticipation of the potentially devastating hurricane, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster suspended federal permitting regulations restricting load, width, length weight and hours of service for commercial vehicles responding to the emergency.

Those vehicles are needed to carry fuel oil, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, propane, liquefied petroleum gas, food, medicine, livestock and poultry, for example, according to the state.

North Carolina also lifted the commercial vehicle restrictions while Virginia declared a state of emergency.

U.S. landfall could come Sept. 14 between Charleston, S.C., and Norfolk, Va., according to the National Hurricane Center. If Florence’s strength continues to build, the storm will be one of just three on record to have winds of 150 mph this close to the continental United States, Phil Klotzbach, a Colorado State University hurricane researcher, told Bloomberg News. Storms in that part of the ocean usually veer away from the U.S.

“The track that Florence is taking is very atypical,” Klotzbach said in an e-mail. “There’s just a really strong ridge building over the top of Florence that is going to drive it westward and also give it a remarkably favorable environment for strengthening.”

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