The price of diesel fuel, the fuel that drives the trucking industry, is at an all-time high. The average price of a gallon reached $5.16 last week. Already a record high, the price has since increased to $5.29 per gallon. Diesel is now about twice as expensive as it was just a year ago.
At the same time that prices are rising, inventories are falling. Inventories of distillates, including diesel and jet fuel, are approaching lows not seen in the last 20 years. This scarcity is due in no small part to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which continues to put pressure on global commerce. While the scarcity of diesel has reduced its supply, demand has increased as the US gradually recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors, among others, have fueled the rise in diesel prices.
For up-to-date prices on diesel fuel near you, check out our gas and diesel price finder.
Will the price of diesel affect consumers?
Many economists worry that American consumers, already under strain, may feel the effects of rising diesel prices in other areas. A price increase could have an impact on physical goods such as food and electronics, which rely on the transportation that diesel powers. Imports and exports rely on diesel-powered ships to cross the world’s oceans and reach American consumers. And even those who produce goods, America’s farmers and industrial manufacturers, need diesel to meet the demand that American consumers have. With so much of the economy relying on diesel fuel, consumers may start to see the prices of the goods that they need increase in response.
American consumers have had it rough this year. Earlier in 2022, inflation reached record levels, further squeezing the wallets of a populace still reeling from COVID-19. All of this occurred at the same time that the price of housing, both permanent and rented, has become a topic of constant debate. Americans are in dire straits, and the rising cost of diesel may only make things worse for ordinary citizens.