Diesel Prices Head Back Up

March 23, 2009

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After falling nearly every week since they peaked last July, diesel prices this week took a hike back upward, with the national average price of a gallon jumping 7.3 cents to $2.09.

Prices rose in every region except New England, which had the highest price at $2.403 and remained unchanged from last week. The lowest prices were seen in the Rocky Mountain region at $2.036. The biggest jump in price was seen in the Gulf Coast region, where the average price was up 8.7 cents per gallon to $2.060. All regions saw the average price rise back up to over the $2-a-gallon mark.

It's not surprising, since crude oil prices have been creeping back up as well. Oil prices rose $1.73 to finish the day at $53.80 a barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after briefly topping $54 a barrel during the day's trading. On Friday, oil ended the week above $50 for the first time this year, reports the Associated Press, and prices have risen more than 30 percent this month.

The higher crude oil prices are due to better economic news that has fueled hopes demand will be picking up. OPEC oil cuts are also credited as a factor in the higher crude prices. Algeria's Energy Minister Chakib Khelil predicted Sunday that crude oil prices could hit $60 per barrel by the end of the year, AP reports.

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