HURRICANE IMPACT: Rita spurs record diesel prices

HURRICANE IMPACT: Rita spurs record diesel prices

The national average price for a gallon of diesel surged 34.6 cents to $3.144, which humbles the old record set on Sept. 5 just after Katrina struck by a lofty 24.6 cents

The national average price for a gallon of diesel surged 34.6 cents to $3.144, which humbles the old record set on Sept. 5 just after Katrina struck by a lofty 24.6 cents.

The week ending Oct. 2 marks the first time all regions averaged above the $3-dollar level since the Dept. of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) began recording data.

Supply constraints following the refinery outages due to the recent Gulf Coast hurricane are the culprit, according to the Dept. of Energy.

California, which formerly held the dubious honor of being the most expensive region for diesel, lost its crown to the Lower Atlantic region, after prices rocketed 50.8 cents to $3.283. California lags that price by just 2.1 cents at $3.262.

Prices held the steadiest in the Rocky Mountain region as prices rose “only” 14.1 cents to $3.079. The cheapest diesel can be found in New England at $3.012 after a 15.3-cent hike.

Diesel prices are expected to maintain record-level highs until refining capacity along the Gulf Coast is restored an EIA spokesperson said. “U.S. refining capacity will be seriously strained for the next couple of months,” EIA senior analyst Mike Burdette told FleetOwner. Although restoration assessments are still in flux, U.S. refining capacity will be restored toward normal levels between mid-November to January, he added.

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