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Will grain movement be impacted by low diesel supplies?

U.S. diesel supplies have dropped to their lowest on record for this time of year, keeping fuel prices high.

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Engin Akyrut | PEXELS
Engin Akyrut | PEXELS

Diesel fuel supplies have dropped to the lowest on record for this time of year, reports Market Watch.

That has kept U.S. diesel prices high at the pump, with a gain of more than 8% in October, even as gasoline saw little change to prices this past month, based on data from GasBuddy.

Retail prices for diesel were at $5.32/gallon on November 7, and have climbed 3.4 cents in the last week, according to data from GasBuddy.

Prices have posted a decline of less than 9% from their record in June.

This news comes as grain transportation in the U.S. has been plagued by a series of troubles this harvest season, from low river levels on the Mississippi halting barge traffic to threats of a railway strike.

25 days worth of diesel left

According to Forbes, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has stated that the U.S. now only has 25 days’ worth of diesel supply left, which is a dangerously low level.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has drastically impacted global energy supplies as refinery closures and disruptions in the U.S. have recently caused issues with the supply of diesel gas at a time when demand is surging due to the changing seasons.

The diesel shortage will also impact inflation, keeping it high as fuel and heating oil inventories run low. Forbes notes since diesel is the primary fuel source for trucks, rails and vessels that transport most consumer goods, it’s looking like the prices of these transported goods will also increase.

Diesel shortage is a global issue

Bloomberg reported that Goldman Sachs warned the diesel shortage, which is not confined to just the U.S., is spreading in Europe as well and will cause higher fuel prices this winter.

In the U.S., the bank said, underinvestment in refining capacity and refinery closures and operation disruptions have all contributed to the scarcity of refined oil products this year but especially diesel.

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