The Diesel Crisis Is Going Global

November 27, 2022 at 10:39 PM
  • Prices for US diesel in the spot market of New York harbor have risen more than 265% since President Biden took the oath of office in 2021
  • Almost every region on the planet will face a diesel shortage this winter

The global diesel markets are facing a perfect storm as capacities tighten and stocks run low. If this continues, it could jeopardize critical transportation networks since industrial fuel powers ships, trucks & trains; there’s also concern about supply chains being compromised by refinery issues in response to high demand for heating homes or businesses.

The worldwide shortage of diesel will have devastating effects on the global economy, including an accelerant that will burden households and businesses. Both gasoline and diesel prices are linked to crude prices set on the global market. Due to supply constraints, diesel prices in many markets currently demand a hefty premium. 

According to the Energy Information Administration, the US now has just 25 days of diesel supply, the lowest since 2008; and while inventories are record low, the four-week rolling average of distillates supplied – a proxy for demand – increased to its highest seasonal level since 2007. 

The ban on Russian crude to Europe in December could worsen the situation. Then a ban on Russian diesel in February could unleash even more chaos for the continent. Traders are panic-hoarding Russian oil products before the bans come into effect. Earlier this year, the US halted Russian diesel shipments, which last year, it was a major supplier to the East Coast.

Winter could exacerbate problems for the Northern Hemisphere as the worst diesel squeeze in a generation could wreak havoc on the already faltering global economy. 

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