Gas, fuel prices reach beyond the pump - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gas, fuel prices reach beyond the pump

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The cost of gas just keeps going up, and that can produce a huge ripple effect. The cost to ship all kinds of goods and commodities is climbing right along with gas and diesel prices.

The average price for a gallon of diesel fuel here in Georgia now tops $4.00 a gallon. Diesel prices here in Albany are above the state average at $4.03 a gallon. Those who rely on these trucks to bring them goods say that jump in fuel prices is being passed along and in some cases they've got not choice to pass it along to the customer.

At Austin's BBQ and Oyster Bar, Monday's lunch rush was no different than usual for the customers. For Owner Austin Newman the sandwiches being served are costing him more than they did three months ago.

"We've seen about a 10 to 14 percent increase across the board on food coming in our back door," said Austin Newman, Owner Austin's BBQ and Oyster Bar.

That's because getting the supplies he needs to the restaurant, are costing his suppliers more in freight costs with diesel now at $4.00 a gallon.

"When you start going up on fuel, you have to go up on your case prices and everything else," said Newman.

Customers see it first hand at the pumps and are surprised they're not seeing prices increase at more restaurants.

"I'm not surprised to hear it, I'm just surprised they haven't gone up already," said Bobby Wilson, a customer.

"My wife's constantly complaining about the cost of groceries and everything else going up and I mean just little items going up a huge percentage," said Bubba Joiner, a customer.

"It's hard to reprint menus every time the cost of goods goes up, so we hold on as long as we can," said Newman.

That's hard to do when the BBQ business seems to be getting hit from every fuel angle.

"The cost of corn has gone from $3.00 to $5.00 a bushel to $8.00 a bushel and that's what we feed our hogs with. If the cost to feed the hogs goes up then our cost to us goes up," said Newman.

Some of it is because of the push for more ethanol to offset high oil prices, and then again to get the hogs to market. Both he and customers hope fuel costs will level off, stopping the drain on everyone's wallet.

A year ago diesel prices were about a dollar cheaper than they are now. Austin's says there's not much they can do about the higher fuel costs right now, competition among restaurants keeps him continuing specials and keeping prices where they are at least for now.

The price for most items at the grocery store is up three to four percent over the last year. Some economists say we're in better shape to handle the rising prices now than when we last dealt with them in 2008 because our overall oil usage is down.

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