Rising Oil Prices Hike Up Cost of Asphalt

June 27, 2006 -- Posted at 4:13 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- The high cost of oil is hitting us at the pumps and even on the roads on which we drive.

We know the price of oil has a direct effect on gasoline prices, but now, one of the hardest hit industries is asphalt.

The price of liquid asphalt has skyrocketed over the past year and is expected to hit a record high by this fall.

"Last year at this time we were paying $175 to $180 a liquid ton, and by July 1st it's going to be $375.  They're starting to indicate that it could top out at $425 by November," said Brian Fulkerson, Vice President of the Jonesboro Division of Atlas Asphalt.

These sharply rising prices have caused some changes at Atlas Asphalt in Jonesboro.

"A year ago we could give them a price and feel comfortable going out 8 to 12 months in the future for a general contractor, now, we won't even guarantee a price past a 30 day period," said Fulkerson.

The high price of oil has led to the price of liquid asphalt rising about $25 every thirty days.

"There's just no way to really price it any further, it's just purely speculation if you did," said Fulkerson.

Even with the rising cost for liquid asphalt, Atlas Asphalt will continue working on the projects already under construction with locked in prices from their oil distributors.

While the price of oil is having a direct impact on the asphalt, it's having an impact on other parts of the job as well.

"There's a lot of trucking that goes on in our business.  Transporting the aggregates from Black Rock to Jonesboro, and from our plant here to the construction site... that's all increased.  You just have to take it as it goes.  It changes everyday," said Fulkerson.