Americans are reportedly paying the biggest-ever premium for diesel at the pump after its price rose 50%

Americans are reportedly paying the biggest-ever premium for diesel at the pump after its price rose 50%
Diesel prices are now trading at record premiums to other fuels.Denis Doyle/Getty Images
  • US diesel buyers paid a record premium at the pump in October, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Diesel prices have jumped 50% this year to $5.35 a gallon as the Ukraine war fallout hits supplies.

The acute shortage of diesel in the US has pushed prices up to a record premium compared with gas and crude oil, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

That has sent prices paid by Americans at the pump soaring, up about 50% this year to $5.35 a gallon as of Wednesday, according to AAA data.

That's a record $1.61 higher than the price of gasoline, which cost an average of $3.74 a gallon — a big jump from the gap of just 23 cents a year ago.

Meanwhile, New York harbor wholesale diesel prices traded at a record premium to crude oil benchmarks in October, according to the EIA.

Western sanctions against Russia after it invaded Ukraine in February have upended global energy markets, tightening supply and triggering price shocks.


Gas prices have fallen 26% since hitting an all-time high of $5.02 in June, AAA data shows, thanks to a combination of falling crude oil prices and a drop in demand.

But diesel buyers haven't enjoyed the same level of relief — prices have dropped just 8.1% from their June record of $5.82 a gallon.

That's because US diesel inventories have sunk to extremely low levels, in large part because many refineries are out of commission. In October, EIA data showed the US only had 25 days' supply of diesel left in reserves — a low not seen since 2008.

As well as hitting American drivers, high diesel prices are squeezing supermarkets and retailers that rely on freight transportation, as truckers pass on costs. Kroger and Hormel Foods are among that have called out the costs — raising concerns about food shortages and higher inflation.

Read more: The US diesel crunch means it's time to stock up on food, Robert Kiyosaki says. Here's what the 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' author and 5 experts are warning as fuel runs short.