As diesel supply continues to be at precarious levels, and demand surges as colder months approach, expect prices to continue to soar. While diesel supplies in the United States slightly increased in early November, the U.S. is still not in a comfortable position heading into winter.
When the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported in mid-October that, as of October 14, the country had 25.4 days left of distillate supplies (which include diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil) analysts and experts started fearing a supply crunch that could potentially lead to a significant slowdown of the U.S. and the global economy.
Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, told Newsweek: “We’ve seen distillate supplies rise slightly to 26.0 days, and inventories last week rose about 400,000 barrels, while the areas with the lowest inventories saw a well-needed rise in supplies as well.”
Though the diesel shortage is affecting the entire country, inventory is particularly low on the East Coast, with the North East experiencing the highest diesel prices, according to Georgia-based major fuel supply and logistics company Mansfield Energy. The South East is reporting the worst supply outages, according to a report by Newsweek.
While rising inventories are certainly good news for the U.S. economy, diesel prices remain high. The national average is of $5.359 per gallon, lower than November 13’s average at $5.362 per gallon but higher than last week’s average of $5.338 per gallon and October’s average of $5.215 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). –Newsweek.
“I’m hoping it might improve, but if it’s a cold winter, heating oil, which is very similar to diesel, could see higher consumption. We may make it through winter—but barely,” said De Haan. “Refiners are running hard and doing their best to produce more,” he said. “If demand falls, we may get enough breathing room for supply to rise.”
De Haan continues to claim there is no need to panic. And while we agree, panicking won’t do you any good, it could help you to be aware of the situation and make preparations if you are more dependent on diesel fuel.