Diesel reaches lowest average price in three months

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Monday, March 20, 2017

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went down 2.5 cents to $2.539 per gallon for the week ending Monday, March 20. This marks the second consecutive decrease after four straight weeks of increases and the lowest prices since Dec. 19 when diesel cost $2.527.

Diesel price averages went down in all 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average decrease was in the Gulf Coast region, where prices at the pump went down by 3.9 cents per gallon. Prices decreased by six-tenths of a cent in the New England region, the smallest decrease in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $2.539, down 2.5 cents
  • East Coast – $2.60, down 1.7 cents
  • New England – $2.622, down six-tenths of a cent
  • Central Atlantic – $2.738, down 2.3 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.498, down 1.4 cents
  • Midwest – $2.464, down 2.7 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $2.38, down 3.9 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.59, down 2.7 cents
  • West Coast – $2.826, down 2 cents
  • West Coast less California – $2.702, down 3.4 cents
  • California – $2.928, down eight-tenths of a cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.486 on Monday morning, a 2.6-cent drop 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 $2.568, with truckers in Rhode Island paying an average of $2.959 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Missouri are paying a national low of $2.311 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. No states have reported average prices above $3, unchanged from last week. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.511 for Monday, 42.8 cents more expensive than this time last year and one-tenth of a cent cheaper 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 $48.34 at noon CDT on Monday, a 6-cent decrease from last Monday and a 44-cent decrease from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for May settlement was listed at $51.68, a 33-cent increase from last Monday and an 8-cent decrease from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil went down slightly on Monday as the continuing increase in U.S. inventories has investors worried. Price decreases were pared by reports of OPEC extending a six-month output cut deal.

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