Small Valley businesses facing impact of high diesel prices

Small Valley businesses facing impact of high diesel prices
1 year 8 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, November 09 2022 Nov 9, 2022 November 09, 2022 9:50 PM November 09, 2022 in News - Local

With the price of diesel fluctuating for months now, drivers and small business owners say they’re paying a steep price at the pump.

Arturo Martinez, owner of Better Hauling Services in Alamo, said he's been in the trucking industry since 1976 and hasn’t seen prices this high before.

“To fill up my truck  it has 300 gallons it would cost about $1,200," Martinez said.

The average diesel price in McAllen stands at about $4.57 a gallon, according to GasBuddy. It’s an increase of 30 cents in the last month.

Martinez said he's had to raise his prices to try and stay afloat amid the rising costs of diesel. Between the gas prices and paying his staff, his take-home profit is getting smaller.

"People think that we're making more money, like right now, for example, I'll charge $350 for a load of caliche,” Martinez aid. “It seems like a lot of money, but at the end of the day, my profit's probably going to be $100.”

Since costs increased, business has declined, Martinez said. 

“We used to move [the truck] like four or five times a day and this week, we haven't moved it,” Martinez said.

The rising cost of gas and other goods is also a struggle for Vera's King-O-Meats owner Marco Vera.

“My companies are charging more for delivery services that I've never seen before,” Vera said. “So because of that, you have to add that extra cost to the meat when it's delivered."

Experts say Texas won't see a shortage in diesel, but they expect prices to continue to rise in the coming months.

"Demand is going up as we go into the winter,” said Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Heating oil, which is used predominantly in the northeastern United States, is basically the same as diesel and so demand is continuing to go up as supply continues to go down and that is pushing prices up."

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