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The DOE / EIA standard diesel price, a two-day delay, will not be released this week

The world of diesel fuel surcharges has now entered Thursday, with prices more than 10 days old and the updated numbers are not coming out this week.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) spokesman Chris Higginbotham told FreightWaves on Thursday that the agency suffered a “very serious hardware problem” and is not expected to release petroleum-related data this week.

However, Higginbotham said the agency collected general survey data on Monday and the information is in its possession. So the EIA should be able to produce a weekly average retail price from June 20, the day the survey was taken.

He said the average retail diesel price for the week was released on Tuesday, but the price was based on data collected by the EIA on Monday instead of Monday as a result of the June holiday. Higginbotham said this was a common EIA procedure for Monday’s holidays.

Higginbotham said it is uncertain at this time whether or not the agency will be able to conduct next week’s survey in a timely manner.

The weekly average retail diesel price, published by the EIA, a component of the Department of Energy, serves as the basis for higher fuel surcharges.

The hours went by without any decision, as those who closely monitor the number were waiting late Tuesday afternoon for the purpose of setting fuel surcharges. Then the agency revealed the reason: technical issues.

“Several US Energy Information Administration product releases scheduled for the week of June 20, 2022, will be delayed as a result of system issues,” read a statement released by the EIA. “Our experts are working on a solution to restore the affected systems.”

The confirmation of the effective date of June 20 clears up any concerns, such as the release of Friday data that raises the question of whether to adjust the fuel surcharge on Friday or Monday when the survey is conducted. When released, Higginbotham made it clear that the price tag will not carry an effective date but will come into effect on June 20.

Ongoing delays can still cause some problems. As one trucking consultant points out to FreightWaves, requesting anonymity, are carriers delaying their billing? And in an industry where cash flow has always been a major problem – which is the only reason the entire factoring industry should exist – could carriers be able to delay that billing even more?

The problem is further complicated by the fluctuations in the market. By definition fuel surcharges have a delay in it because it only comes out once a week and retail fuel prices can change at any time. The falling market benefits carriers because their trucks on the road will be able to take advantage of a weekly drop in retail prices, but shippers will be billed based on a fuel surcharge reflecting the weekly market. A rising market does the opposite.

The most recent DOE / EIA price is $ 5.718, effective June 13. But since that time, average retail diesel prices have risen from $ 5.80 per gallon to $ 5.847 per gallon, according to data from the DTS.USA data stream in Sonar.

While this is a significant gap between the EIA price and the SONAR price, the EIA’s June 13 price is the first to reflect the agency’s newly adopted approach. So there is no history on it and how it compares to other benchmark numbers.

DTS data shows a relatively stable retail diesel market, with wholesale and futures prices volatile. The average national wholesale diesel price on June 13, the last release date of the EIA data, was $ 4.783 per gallon. But it closed at $ 4.722 on Monday, up $ 4.923 on Friday. On Thursday, it was $ 4.7411.

Meanwhile, the price of ultra-low sulfur diesel at CME Commodities was $ 4.2834 per gallon on June 13, up $ 4.5719 on Friday, and dropped to $ 4.3398 on Monday. On Wednesday, it settled at $ 4.4046.

That volatility is happening even as shippers and carriers look at the benchmark numbers more than a week old with no indication of when the update will arrive.

More Articles by John Kingston

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As diesel prices skyrocket, refinery squeeze challenges oil markets

Diesel has once again risen above the price of crude oil and gasoline

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