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Bulk diesel prices reach six-month period of stability in April

9 May 2024

The average price of delivered-in bulk diesel saw no notable change from March across April, with the April figure average rising by just 0.04ppl from March to come in at 116.65ppl plus VAT, according to data collected by RHA.

Bulk diesel prices see six months of stability in April 2024

That represents further welcome stability for diesel buyers, something further in evidence via the maximum and minimum quotes seen by members of the trade body during April. They showed a similarly minimal amount of change from March.

April’s return means that the bulk diesel average as recorded by RHA has now stayed within a tight window for six months, with no more than 4.57ppl continuing to distance each of those figures since November 2023. 12 months earlier there was a variation of 26.75ppl over the same six-month period, albeit including a low of 112.80ppl in April 2023.

Independent fuel price information specialist Portland Pricing has repeatedly noted that conflict between Israel and Hamas is an influence on oil prices, albeit not to the extent first feared. A ceasefire could lead to a drop in diesel prices. Additionally, some parties have observed that the risk of conflict between Israel and Iran is receding.

After April closed, the United States Energy Information Administration (USEIA) modestly lowered its oil price forecasts via the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, published in early May. However, Brent rose by around US$5.00 per barrel in April, the sharpest increase seen since September 2023.

While USEIA predictions made in May for the remainder of 2024 were still slightly above those published in March, they are below those issued in April in further evidence of the difficulty in forecasting accurately.

The Administration is less optimistic on oil prices than some other sources. It now believes that Brent crude in Q2 will average US$89.30 per barrel and rise slightly in Q3 as the result of ongoing geopolitical risks and voluntary production cuts.

Despite that, USEIA thinks that global oil production growth will accelerate next year. It thus predicts modest but consistent quarter-on-quarter price falls from Q4 to the end of 2025, at which time Brent is forecast to be US$82.66 per barrel.