While the average price of gas in Wisconsin has dropped to $3.67 a gallon, the price of diesel remains above $4.00.
Industry analysts at Gasbuddy.com say the cost of diesel is as high as $4.54 per gallon in western Wisconsin. Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says it’s a sign of the seasons. That’s because diesel fuel and home heating oil are very similar, and DeHaan says homeowners, particularly in the northeast, are filling their tanks, which puts pressure on diesel prices, “We are seeing speculative money flow out of gasoline thus prices are dropping and a lot of that speculative money is going into heating and diesel, which is keeping prices perhaps higher than they would be.”
Steve George is executive vice president for Corporate Courier Incorporated in Eau Claire where diesel is $4.29 per gallon. He says the prices are higher than normal now because they were high to begin with when the heating oil speculation began in late summer and fall. He says since the transportation industry is so competitive his company is forced to eat the extra costs instead of passing them on to customers, “You hope when summer comes back along that you’ll be able to go back and make it up and that’s exactly how you do it. So, winter is usually a very interesting time for transportation companies because of the cost of operating.”
DeHaan says diesel prices may fall a bit during the winter but they won’t dip below the price of gasoline. He says diesel will begin coming down in the spring.