The price of gasoline in Iowa has been declining over the past few days according to the latest state survey of pump prices, but diesel fuel prices set an all-time record. Linda King of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says there’s a pretty stable supply of gasoline right now, but greater demand over Labor Day holiday will probably bring an uptick in gasoline prices.
“Generally, over the holiday season prices do edge up a bit, but we’re not expecting to see any huge volatility in the market,” King says. State officials calculate the average price for a gallon of ethanol in Iowa on August 15th at two-dollars-and-91 cents. That’s a penny lower than it was a year ago. Those who burn diesel in their vehicles have seen a sharp increase in price.
The average price for a gallon of diesel in Iowa was three-dollars-and-23 cents in mid-August, an all-time record. According to King, much of the increase can be attributed to a new federal mandate for ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel. “There are potential problems with distributing that through the pipeline system,” she says. The state report also charts the prices for heating fuels like natural gas, propane and heating oil.
King says most Iowans who use heating oil to heat their homes have already purchased their supply for the coming winter. “And if you haven’t locked in a contract, we suggest that you do so,” King says. “It’s best to lock in early before the heating season starts.”
Natural gas and heating oil prices in mid-August were above the prices charged for the fuels a month ago, but there was essentially no change in the cost of propane compared to last August.