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Diesel prices hit record highs in Florida as drivers cope with costs

Drivers paying average of $5.35 a gallon in Sunshine State
Cost of diesel at Marathon gas station in Riviera Beach, May 2, 2022
Posted at 4:04 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 22:00:49-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It's not just gasoline that has people paying more at the pump. The price of diesel is also going up, impacting truck drivers and other workers.

The cost of diesel is currently more than $5 at most locations in Palm Beach County.

AAA said the average price of diesel is currently $5.35 a gallon in Florida. A year ago the average price was $2.96 in Florida.

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"It's going very high. I don't know why, but it's getting very high," driver Ivan Mesa said.

Price of diesel at a Chevron in West Palm Beach, May 2, 2022
The price of diesel was $5.18 a gallon at a Chevron near Palm Beach International Airport along Belvedere Road on May 2, 2022.

Filling up his work truck these days has turned into a painful experience for Mesa and his contracting business.

The price for diesel hit a national high of $5.32 a gallon, and it's running even higher in South Florida.

"The problem is simply low inventories, high demand and the lack of an ability to produce as much as we need," Patrick De Haan with, which monitors fuel prices.

He said diesel is a much heavier oil product and not as widely refined as unleaded gasoline.

Patrick De Haan with explains rise in diesel prices, May 2, 2022
Patrick De Haan with explains why diesel prices have increased dramatically in the last year.

This is making it much more vulnerable to a spike in demand as supply chains race to get back on track following the pandemic.

"Most refineries are kind of retooling, maybe buying heavier products to yield more heavy things like diesel," De Haan said. "But it does take time and in the interim we have — very quickly — falling supply of diesel."

This means these high prices will not go away soon because the demand to get supply chains back is too strong.

And while it's usually big trucks that use diesel fuel, De Haan said the price of diesel is something everyone should be watching.

"You may go to the pump and not pay the diesel price but when you go to the grocery store, those groceries are priced based on how long and how much money it takes to get there," De Haan said.