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DOE Raises Diesel Price Forecast for 2010

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Lowers Outlook Slightly for Crude Oil, Gasoline

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The Department of Energy held its diesel price forecast for 2009 steady at $2.46 a gallon, but bumped its projection for next year by a nickel from a previous forecast.

Trucking’s main fuel will average $2.84 in 2010, DOE said in its monthly short-term energy outlook released Tuesday — up slightly from the $2.79 it forecast last month.

In its latest weekly pump-price survey released Monday, DOE said the national average price of diesel was $2.625, the highest price since late November.

Diesel averaged $3.80 last year, peaking on July 14, 2008, at a record $4.764 a gallon.

Gasoline will average $2.34 this year, down slightly from the $2.36 predicted last month, DOE said. Monday’s weekly survey showed a 9-cent increase to $2.647.

This year’s prices are well below last year’s $3.26 average, a record. The single-week record high for gas was $4.114 a gallon, set on July 7, 2008.

DOE also lowered its forecast for crude oil, saying it will average $59.94 a barrel, down slightly from the $60.35 it projected last month. The 2010 forecast was unchanged at $72.42.

Oil averaged $99.57 per barrel last year and set a New York Mercantile Exchange closing-price record of $145.29 last July.

By Transport Topics