Diesel hits record high in Richmond as grocery costs rise

Posted at 12:40 PM, May 10, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. — A rise in unleaded and diesel gas prices are already impacting summer vacation budgets as Memorial Day approaches.

Virginia’s unleaded gas average is just one penny away from the record of $4.25 set back on March 11, according to AAA.

Richmond set a record on Tuesday at $4.25 for a gallon of unleaded gasoline.

Drivers who fill up with diesel continue to see records set everyday as the price per gallon hit an all-time high of $5.54.

These numbers certainly hurt families as Memorial Day approaches. Even if you don’t use diesel, the cost still impacts your bottom line.

Jeff Smith leads supply chain management at Virginia Commonwealth University. For the past six years, his duties include monitoring gas prices and its impacts.

“It’s the worst it’s been since I’ve been here at VCU,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, it’s just a moment of belt tightening.”

Grocery costs have risen at least 10% in the last year. Smith said diesel prices are passed down to the cost of goods, which are moved across the country in trucks that use diesel.

An increase in demand for gas and restrictions on Russian oil only fuels an already volatile past few years.

“You’ve seen cybersecurity hacks on a pipeline. You’ve seen a shipping tanker turned sideways in the Suez Canal. You’ve seen a freeze in Texas the likes we’ve never seen before,” Smith explained. “You’ve seen a global pandemic. You’ve now seen an uncertain situation in Eastern Europe. All these things coming together normally you hit once, and you wait years. But they’re all happening at the same time.”

Smith calls these price increases cyclical, but among the highest our country has ever experienced.

It’s unclear how long these price increases will continue.

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