Truckers have been finding more widely varying prices for diesel fuel than other motorists who burn unleaded gasoline in their vehicles. A state survey found the average price for diesel in Iowa was two-dollars-and-90 cents a gallon on June 15th.
Tami Foster, an energy data analyst for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says diesel prices have been “a little bit more volatile” over the past four weeks. The statewide average price for diesel fuel in Iowa was about two cents higher per gallon in mid-June compared to the middle of May.
Ethanol demand nationwide is on the increase because an oil-based fuel additive called M-T-B-E has been banned in coastal states and Foster says the ethanol supply appears to be keeping up with demand now. That means the price of ethanol-blended fuel should be stable, according to Foster.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of ethanol running about the same price as regular unleaded. Typically it runs one- to four-cents a gallon less and in recent weeks it’s been running about the same if not a little bit higher. However that is typically at stations which do not have a contract in place and so the recent jump that is being seen across the country is affecting those retailers here in Iowa as well and that cost is being passed along to the consumer,” Foster says.
“What we’re suggesting is that consumers kind of shop around and look for other stations in the area that should be offering ethanol, again, at one- to four-cents less than regular unleaded.” As for other fuels, the prices of natural gas, propane and heating oil don’t appear to be fluctuating according to Foster. The price of number two heating oil has increased just one penny from mid-May to mid-June.