Does inflation/cost of living not rise and fall as much as in other countries in the US due to the constant low gas prices? In the UK, cost of living is pretty much determined by fuel prices, when they go up, food prices go up too, when it drops, food and other consumable prices drop too. This then determines Bank interest rates, which then has an affect on people's wages. It's one big chain reaction.
The latest inflation numbers were very low with the drop in fuel costs being the biggest driver. I don't think consumers are seeing much benefit in lower delivery costs since trucks are using diesel fuel and it hasn't come down with gasoline prices.
If the low prices continue until summer, we might see a drop in diesel prices. During the winter, demand is pushed up by home heating oil in the North East. I switched to natural gas a few years ago, but I believe heating oil prices are down.
Way back when I had my diesel, I noticed that gasoline prices changed quite quickly in response to world events while diesel prices changed more slowly both ways. Back then, diesel was cheaper in summer than gas and pricier in winter. That was said to be in response to demand for home heating oil, quite closely akin to diesel. About the time I got rid of the diesel gasoline prices dropped below diesel year-round. Now it looks as if diesel runs about 30% higher than regular gas pretty much all year. I cannot help but wonder whether part of the higher price involves the requirement for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel.
Perhaps so. I noticed, besides the fact that gasoline in the US has far less additives/minerals and lubricants, and is less refined, it also has up to 300% more sulphur than the gasoline we use here. I guess that also contributes to the ridiculous amount of oil changes required, and perhaps why diesels tend to fail emission tests in the US.
I keep seeing comments that the fuel in Europe is more highly refined than that in the USA. But I have seen nothing that shows more highly refined fuel to produce better economy. After all, the most efficient Diesel engines are those very large units used on shipboard, and they usually burn Bunker C fuel. Bunker C is about the last thing to come out of the refinery, and it is slightly above asphalt in the chain. It usually requires being heated to well above the boiling point of water before it can even be pumped.
ULSD in the US has a sulfur limit of 15ppm. By next year, all our off-road and heating diesel will be ULSD. Most it already is; smaller refineries were given more time to convert.
European sulfur levels are at 10ppm. It's a tiny difference.
Part of the reason for higher prices for US diesel is that there is no longer an oversupply of it. The previous sulfur limit was 500ppm, which was phased out in Europe in 1996. So refineries had excess diesel with no buyers here. Now with ULSD, the sulfur levels are close enough between the US and Europe that the refineries can easily sell their excess diesel to Europe.
In short, US diesel costs more because Draigflag is buying it.
The cetane number limits are farther apart. The minimum in the US is 40, with most in the 42 to 45 range. The European limit is 51, and may have further minimum additive requirements to meet, like detergents and lubricants. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cetane_number
"Because this grade of fuel is comparable to European grades, European engines will no longer have to be redesigned to cope with higher sulfur content in the U.S. These engines may use advanced emissions control systems which would otherwise be damaged by sulfur. Thus the ULSD standard is increasing the availability of diesel-fueled passenger cars in the U.S. In Europe, diesel-engined automobiles have been much more popular with buyers than has been the case in the U.S."
So expect to see more small diesels in the US soon