The U.S. is getting worrying close to a nationwide diesel shortage. Bloomberg reports that demand for the fuel is up, but at the same time supply in the United States remains at the lowest level of the season, ever. On the other hand, gasoline prices remain relatively steady. The current average price for a gallon of gas is now $3.82, according to AAA, still considerably lower than the current average price for a gallon of diesel at $5.34.
The country now has just a 25 day supply of diesel, and that’s the lowest level since 2008. On top of that, demand for diesel is at its highest seasonal level since 2007 because of higher trucking, farming and heating use.
This could spell some serious issues for the Biden Administration and Democratic Party as a whole leading into the November midterm elections. An analyst described the diesel reserves as “unacceptable low.” It could even drive up inflation if the levels continue to decrease.
Nationally, stockpiles have drained as refiners entered maintenance season and as Russia’s war in Ukraine tightened global supplies and limited imports. Market backwardation — where prompt deliveries are priced at a premium over future deliveries — has made building inventory extremely costly, feeding into a vicious cycle of tight supplies and price spikes.
In New England, where more people burn fuel for heating than anywhere else in the country, stockpiles are less than a third of typical levels for this time of year.
There is some reportedly good news, though. Bloomberg says at least two vessels carrying about 1 million barrels of diesel are on their way to New York. They were originally destined for Europe, but the plans seem to have changed.
On top of that, a diesel refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania is said to be returning from seasonal maintenance.
Let’s take a look at gas prices across the country.
Here is the highest average gas prices in the country in order of highest price for a gallon regular:
- California - $5.83 Regular | $6.07 Mid | $6.21 Premium | $6.52 Diesel
- Alaska - $5.22 Regular | $5.49 Mid | $5.68 Premium | $5.47 Diesel
- Hawaii - $5.22 Regular | $5.44 Mid | $5.69 (nice) Premium | $6.11 Diesel
- Oregon - $5.15 Regular | $5.41 Mid | $5.60 Premium | $5.73 Diesel
- Nevada - $5.11 Regular | $5.37 Mid | $5.58 Premium | $5.51 Diesel
Here is the lowest average price of gasoline in the country in order of lowest price per gallon of regular:
- Georgia - $3.23 Regular | $3.61 Mid | $3.96 Premium | $4.90 Diesel
- Texas - $3.24 Regular | $3.62 Mid | $4.95 Premium | $4.82 Diesel
- Mississippi - $3.30 Regular | $3.66 Mid | $3.99 Premium | $4.89 Diesel
- Arkansas - $3.34 Regular | $3.70 Mid | $4.04 Premium | $4.97 Diesel
- South Carolina - $3.34 Regular | $3.72 Mid | $4.03 Premium | $5.00 Diesel
I wish I had better news.