• Last modified 3833 days ago (Oct. 22, 2008)


Fuel prices take a nose dive

Staff writer

The price of gasoline and road diesel has dropped precipitously in the past three weeks and continues to fall. Gasoline dropped by 81 cents and diesel dropped by 87 cents.

On Sept. 29, regular unleaded sold locally for $3.42 and road diesel sold for $4.11. On Oct. 13, the gas price was 2.82 and diesel was $3.52.

The current price of unleaded gasoline is at least 20 cents lower than a year ago and $1.56 off its July peak. On Monday, unleaded sold for $2.61 at Ampride in Marion. Diesel remained about nine cents higher than a year ago at $3.24.

On March 3, unleaded was $3.22. The price rose steadily to a peak of $4.06 on July 7. Diesel rose from $3.71 to $4.77.

Unleaded Plus, which contains 10 percent ethanol, generally is priced 10 cents lower than regular gasoline.

According to Delbert Peters, comptroller at Cooperative Grain and Supply, many industry analysts explain the steep rise in prices earlier this year as an attempt by investors to protect their money against a weakening dollar. They put their money into commodities such as grain, gold, and crude oil, driving up the price.

As economies around the world began to slow, the dollar began to strengthen, leading investors to pull their money from the commodity markets, causing a decline in prices.

“Some say it’s a matter of supply,” Peters said. “But in my opinion, it’s not a supply issue. It’s a speculator or investor issue. They say they are hedging against inflation. Investors may buy back into commodities if some event triggers it.”

Peters noted the prices of fertilizer and propane also are starting to decline.

Last modified Oct. 22, 2008