No fuel is more essential to the global economy than diesel. It powers trucks, buses, ships and trains. It drives machinery for construction, manufacturing and farming. It’s burned for heating homes. And with the high price of natural gas, in some places it’s also being used to generate power.
Within the next few months, almost every region on the planet will face the danger of a diesel shortage at a time when supply crunches in nearly all the world’s energy markets have worsened inflation and stifled growth.
The toll could be enormous, feeding through into everything from the price of a Thanksgiving turkey to consumer bills for heating homes this winter. In the US alone, the surging diesel cost will mean a $100 billion hit to the economy, according to Mark Finley, an energy fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy.
“Anything and everything that gets moved in our economy, diesel is there,” Finley said. “Moving stuff around is one thing. People potentially freezing to death is another.”
In the US, stockpiles of diesel and heating oil are at their lowest point ever for this time of year in data going back four decades. Northwest Europe is also facing a low buffer — inventories are forecast to hit a low this month and then tumble even more by March, shortly after sanctions come into play that will cut the region off from Russian seaborne supplies. Global export markets have gotten so tight that poorer countries like Pakistan are getting shut out, with suppliers failing to book enough cargoes to meet the nation’s domestic needs.
…click on the above link to read the rest…