The Number 1 Resource for Vocational Truck Fleets

Fuel Management

Refiners Tilt to Diesel Over Gasoline

May 27, 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. refiners by now would be moving full-speed to ramp up gasoline production in advance of the summer driving season, but instead they are trying to maximize output of more-profitable diesel fuel. The global hunger for diesel, coupled with tight refining capacity, has made diesel one of the few bright spots in the refining business, catapulting prices higher than a parallel rise in gasoline, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Diesel prices were up an additional 18.2 cents last week to a record $4.33 a gallon, a 56-percent increase over the price at this time last year. Gasoline is climbing, too, but less dramatically. Gas prices rose 10.9 cents to $3.72 a regular gallon last week, 20 percent higher than a year ago.

Diesel’s higher price means the fuel is more lucrative for refiners at a time when gasoline profits are shrinking. While U.S. consumers are cutting back on energy consumption because of high fuel prices and a slowing economy, demand is growing briskly in the developing world, where diesel is often favored over gasoline. Unlike gasoline, which is used mainly in automobiles, diesel also fuels tractors, trucks, and electricity generators.

Although government data showed a build-up in the beginning of May in stocks of distillates, which are mostly diesel, supplies remain well below last year’s levels.

As diesel’s price increase has outstripped that of gasoline, U.S. refiners have been easing the throttle on gasoline production, cutting refiner operating rates to 86.6 percent from 89.5 percent a year ago, according to the latest weekly government estimates.






Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


Fuel Management

Bernie Kanavagh from WEX will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Management And Leasing

Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fuel Saving Strategies Survey

View our 2008 survey to benchmark your fleet's fuel and green strategies with other fleets.

Fuel Calculator

A managed fuel program can help you save time and money and gain control over the way you fuel your vehicles. Determine your potential savings by using our fuel calculator.
Launch Fuel Calculator 

Fuel Prices

U.S. Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Prices.

Launch Fuel Prices 
Sponsored by

A former PHH senior VP at PHH, Jim Rallo worked more than 38 years in the fleet industry.

Read more