(Jan. 13) Diesel prices saw their first spike of the year the week of Jan. 11, according to the Department of Energy.

The average retail price of diesel rose $1.551 per gallon, up 4.8 cents from the week before.

While that is not as high as the record of $1.709 set in February, it is the highest price since April’s mark of $1.554. It is also up 7.3 cents from the same week in 2003.

In addition, the department said the jump was the largest weekly rise since prices went up by 12 cents the week of Feb. 10.

The highest prices were found in New England, where rates soared to $1.713 per gallon, up 5.8 cents from the week before.

Analysts say that a combination of a weakening U.S. dollar, rising crude oil prices and cold winter weather is to blame for the increase.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Jan. 13 that it wanted to stabilize oil markets now in order to enact a planned supply cut in February.

“We are calling on all parties involved in the oil markets to take an initiative to keep prices stable in the position that represents producers and consumers,” OPEC president and Indonesian oil minister Pernomo Yusgiantoro said in a statement.

OPEC already made one production cut back in November, which has caused a 30% increase in crude oil prices since then.

In spite of this, the group said it still plans to go through with another supply cut in February in order to prevent a surplus once demand declines in the spring. But rapid economic growth in China has increased demand while sabotage in Iraq has delayed that country’s production recovery efforts.

Reuters reported that the International Energy Agency was concerned that OPEC would not do anything to stem the rising costs of fuel.

“Current levels are too expensive,” said Norio Ehara, head of the agency’s Asia Pacific and Latin American divisions. “We want them to calm down the market. We need some balance.”

No further action was expected from OPEC until the next meeting on Feb. 10.