Diesel price hike largest since April

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Updated Jan 19, 2011

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A week after diesel prices barely budged, the national average retail price of diesel jumped 7.4 cents to $3.407 a gallon during the week ended Monday, Jan. 17, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. The increase is the largest week-to-week jump since the week ended April 5, 2010, when prices rose 7.6 cents on average.

Diesel prices are 53.7 cents higher than they were during the same week last year and are at their highest level since late October 2008, when prices were plunging from their all-time high that summer. The average diesel price has surged more than 45 cents since the current run-up began in late September.

Prices rose in all regions, led by the 11-cent jump in New England, which remained the nation’s most expensive diesel by region; New England often sees the nation’s largest increases during winter due to the region’s relatively greater reliance on home heating oil, which competes with diesel for distillate stocks. The smallest increase was 4 cents in the Rocky Mountain region. The Gulf Coast had the least expensive diesel.

Complete diesel price information for the week ended Jan. 17 is available on the EIA’s website.