Another week of little movement in diesel prices

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Monday, March 06, 2017

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went up two-tenths of a cent to $2.579 per gallon for the week ending Monday, March 6. This marks the fourth consecutive increase after four straight weeks of decreases.

Diesel price averages went up in four of 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average increase was in the Rocky Mountain region, where prices at the pump went up by 4.3 cents per gallon. Prices decreased by 1.2 cents in the New England region, the largest decrease in the nation.

Following are the average prices by region as reported by the EIA:

  • U.S. – $2.579, up two-tenths of a cent
  • East Coast – $2.633, down two-tenths of a cent
  • New England – $2.646, down 1.2 cents
  • Central Atlantic – $2.78, up eight-tenths of a cent
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.525, down eight-tenths of a cent
  • Midwest – $2.502, up three-tenths of a cent
  • Gulf Coast – $2.429, down four-tenths of a cent
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.625, up 4.3 cents
  • West Coast – $2.877, unchanged
  • West Coast less California – $2.779, up seven-tenths of a cent
  • California – $2.956, down six-tenths of a cent

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.524 on Monday morning, a unchanged from last week.

ProMiles, the software company that maintains the websites ProMiles.com and TruckMiles.com, continues to offer its own weekly fuel price information. The company’s fuel price data are presented in the same format used by the EIA in the agency’s weekly reports. The prices include a national average as well as regional averages, and comparisons to the previous week and the previous year.

A key difference between the EIA and ProMiles reporting is the type and number of fueling stations the company surveys in order to calculate its averages. While EIA surveys 400 truck stops and convenience stores nationwide, ProMiles uses its direct feed from thousands of truck stops to develop its averages.

TruckMiles.com listed the daily average price for Monday at $2.606, with truckers in Rhode Island paying an average of $3.039 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Missouri are paying a national low of $2.343 per gallon, according to the site. No states in the Lower 48 states have been listed in excess of $4 per gallon at the pump since Dec. 4, 2014. Only one state, Rhode Island, has average prices above $3, one fewer than last week. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.521 for Monday, 53 cents more expensive than this time last year and 1.5 cents higher than a month ago.

In separate energy news, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude (also known as West Texas Intermediate) for April delivery was trading at $53.11 at noon CDT on Monday, a 94-cent decrease from last Monday and a 22-cent decrease from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for May settlement was listed at $55.83, a 10-cent decrease from last Monday and a 7-cent decrease from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil began to go south on Monday amid the International Energy Agency predicting growth in shale oil and decreased demand in European refined products. With low demand, slow-moving product will not help reduce the glut plaguing the industry.

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