RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A major company that tracks the availability of fuel on Friday issued an alert for a diesel fuel shortage in the Southeastern United States, including North and South Carolina.
The alert from Mansfield Energy on Friday also includes Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Maryland. The fuel supply and logistics company noted “extremely high prices in the Northeast along with supply outages along the Southeast.”
The alert also said conditions are “rapidly devolving” with economics changing “significantly” daily.
“At times, carriers are having to visit multiple terminals to find supply, which delays deliveries and strains local trucking capacity,” the alert from Mansfield Energy said.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in an October “Winter Fuels Outlook” that diesel fuel inventories on the east coast at the end of last month were already 45 percent below the 5-year average.
Manfield also reported that diesel prices are back up to $4.50 this week, the highest prices since June.
“Over the past two weeks, diesel supply has fallen to just 25 days of supply, below the 35-40 days that are typically more comfortable for fuel markets,” the company said Friday in a “Week in Review” newsletter.
The company called diesel fuel the “break-out product” of the week.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported this week the third lowest stocks on hand in the last five years of diesel fuel for the lower Atlantic area, which includes Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported the retail diesel price for the third quarter average was $5.16 per gallon. EIA estimates diesel at $4.86 per gallon in the fourth quarter of this year.
The prices for on-highway diesel for this week were at $5.18 per gallon in the lower Atlantic region, according to the EIA. That is an increase of nearly 40 cents per gallon since Sept. 19.
Mansfield issued the Code Red for the Southeast asking for a 72-hour notice for deliveries so that the fuel can be “secured.”