Diesel prices virtually flat at record high

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The national average retail price for on-highway diesel edged up 0.2 cents to $2.59 per gallon for the week ended Aug. 29, according to the Energy Information Administration. Prices nationwide are on average 71.9 cents higher than a year ago.

Prices were flat on the East Coast at $2.564, down 0.8 cents in the Midwest to $2.532 and down 0.4 cents in the Gulf Coast region to $2.508. The Rocky Mountain region saw the biggest increase in prices – 4.7 cents to $2.726. The highest average prices, as usual, were in California at $3.045, up 0.8 cents from the week before. West Coast prices grew 2.3 cents to $2.92 cents.

Most observers see little opportunity for price relief in the near term as disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina could slow the supply of petroleum from the Gulf of Mexico.