Will Diesel Prices Ever Come Down?

By Wayne Truter

The movement in diesel fuel prices has had a strong impact in a variety of industries that makes use of diesel not only in running machinery, but also in transporting goods. This is because the use of diesel in transportation and energy underlie a huge number of functions in everyday life. Majority of delivery trucks, public transport vehicles like trains, buses, boats, ships and barges, and even construction and farming equipment, make use of engines that run on diesel fuel. This means that as the prices of diesel fuel soar, the costs required in facilitating the activities of which these vehicles and equipment take part in also increase. This either reduces the amount of profit these industries can have, or makes them have to choose the unfortunate option of levying costs on the retail prices they offer their consumers.

In the United States since September 2004, the price of diesel fuel has been by and large higher than the price of gasoline all year round and this is due to numerous reasons. The worldwide steady increase of demand for diesel fuel and other distillate fuel oils has put pressure on the tight global refining capacity?more so with the strong demand of such products in China, Europe, and the United States.The transition from low sulfur diesel (LSD) fuel to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel in the United States has affected the diesel fuel production and distribution costs. This is due to the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for diesel fuel sulfur content.

Another reason for this shift in the norm between gasoline and diesel fuel prices is that the federal excise tax on the latter is higher than the tax on gasoline.The Primary Factors Affecting The Price Of Diesel Cost and supply of crude oil ? The worldwide supply and demand of crude oil determines its price, and the rising demand has put great pressure on the supply. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has all of the spare production capacity and possesses a significant percentage of the world?s crude oil reserves. The prices spike as a response to the disorder in the international and domestic crude oil supply.

Next, crude oil enters the process of refining. This is the stage where crude oil is processed into the different forms of fuel it will become. Gasoline and diesel fuel primarily differ in the refining process that is used for it. Originally, better-refined gasoline was more expensive than diesel fuel; however, the costs of processing gasoline were overrun by the price impact of excess demand for diesel fuel. Diesel fuel and distillate heating oil, on the other hand, are processed using the same refining process. This is the reason why the increase in prices in one affects and increases the prices of the other.

Seasonality in the demand for diesel fuel and distillates ? The price of diesel fuel slowly rises during the fall, declines in the late winter, rises through the early spring, and then declines in the summer. The demand by farmers during the different seasons creates an upward pressure on the diesel prices.Transportation costs ? The distance between the retail location and distribution terminals and refineries has a direct relationship with the transportation cost?that is, an increase in one increases the other.Regional operating costs and local competition ? Depending on the location of the dealer, the cost of doing business varies which include wages and salaries, benefits, equipment, lease, insurance, overhead, and state and local fees. Even if retail stations are in close proximity to one another, they still have differing costs. Another factor that affects diesel fuel prices is the number and location of the local competitors.And will this fuel prices ever effect our car insurance estimates, if fuel goes up our insurances must come down. - 29952

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