EDITOR'S NOTE: An incorrect word in a quote has been corrected.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Diesel prices hit an all-time high last week as the United States continues to struggle with distribution amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
According to AAA, the national average for diesel was $5.321 to start the week -- more than $2 above last year's national average.
Missouri's average diesel price is $5.059 per gallon, which is only slightly below the national average. Meanwhile, gas prices have reached a national average of $4.194 per gallon, and $3.772 in Missouri. The rise in fuel prices has had a ripple effect, contributing to inflation that has pushed up the price of goods and services.
The Consumer Price Index reports that the gasoline price index rose "sharply" in March -- more than 18% higher than in February.
Associate Chair for the MU Department of Economics, and Professor, Zack Miller told ABC 17 that people are going to continue to see prices rise in stores as the cost of diesel increases.
"Our global economy is very integrated, very interdependent, this is generally a good thing, but it's predicated on having low transportation costs. So anything that raises transportation costs, or affects transportation in some ways is going to raise costs for us," said Miller.
"I don't expect any relief, at least in the coming months, unless something positive happens in the Russia Ukraine war, we'll have to wait to see what happens there, but right now it's looking tougher in terms of energy prices in the weeks and months ahead," Ernie Goss, an economic professor at Creighton University, said that we could see the increase for a while.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that the retail cost of a "gallon of diesel fuel reflects the costs and profits (or losses) of producing and delivering the product to customers."
The agency says that four main factors are affecting diesel fuel prices:
- The cost of crude oil purchased by refineries.
- Refining costs and profits.
- Distribution, marketing and retail station costs and profits.
- Taxes (federal, state, county, and local government).