Minnesota experiencing spot diesel shortages

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Minnesota trucking companies were coping with spot fuel shortages on Thursday, Oct. 26, with diesel supplies out or nearly out in Rochester, Mankato and Winona, said John Hausladen, president the Minnesota Trucking Association. Hausladen told the Associated Press that the shortage was discussed during a board of directors meeting on Thursday in Rochester.

Hausladen told the AP there was still fuel in the state — it just wasn’t evenly distributed. The shortages were brought on by increased demand by farm equipment during the harvest, the ongoing transition to ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel and a changing mix of products coming out of refineries, he said.

“They will eventually get fuel,” Hausladen said of the tight markets. “Shortages like this do happen with regularity, year by year.” It would take a long shortage for increased shipping costs to reach consumers, so the short-term pinch will be felt mostly be trucking companies, he said. “If you normally have to go 10 miles to get it, and now you have to go 100, that’s a big deal,” Hausladen told the AP.

However, he said trucking companies in the state were expecting a more lasting problem of finding enough top-grade diesel fuel during the winter. The fuel, called No. 1 diesel, is mixed with lesser grades to make them more resistant to freezing.